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Marvel Animated About Hulk in Q2 Report

In its second quarter report, Marvel Ent. announced the production of a new animated direct-to-DVD feature entitled HULK SMASH. No plot details were announced, but it will be released via Lionsgate in Oct. 2008.

For the second quarter ended June 30, 2007, Marvel reported that net sales rose to $101.5 million and net income increased to $29.1 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared to net sales of $84.4 million and net income of $16.3 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, in Q2 2006. The year-over-year increases in net income and EPS are largely attributable to the strength of the company's licensing operations, complemented by increased contributions from both toys and comicbook publishing, all supported by the release of three Marvel character-based feature films in 2007.

Marvel's chairman, Morton Handel, commented, "Marvel continued to achieve strong operating results across its businesses in Q2 2007, with improved operating profit contributions in all divisions. Through the first half of 2007, our licensing segment has benefited from strong contributions related to SPIDER-MAN 3 consumer merchandise licensing. The publishing segment continues to benefit from strong sales related to the CIVIL WAR series, which is driving unit sales per title above historical levels while also helping Marvel to achieve higher operating margins in the division.

"In 2008, Marvel will release our first two self-produced films. Producing our own films positions Marvel to benefit from each film's profits as well as the related fees from merchandising. Principal photography was completed during the quarter for the first film, IRON MAN, and it commenced on July 9, for the second film, THE INCREDIBLE HULK. Both films are slated for summer 2008 release with significant promotional and licensing support."

As for its other upcoming films, its licensed character features include WOLVERINE with director Gavin Hood and star Hugh Jackman and PUNISHER 2 with director Lexi Alexander and new star Ray Stevenson. The studio also has five features in development internally including: ANT-MAN with HOT FUZZ's Edgar Wright attached to direct and Edward Wright and Joe Cornish writing; CAPTAIN AMERICA with David Self writing; NICK FURY with Andrew Marlowe writing; THOR with Mark Protosevich writing; and THE AVENGERS with Zak Penn writing.

Previously announced animated TV series in Marvel's lineup include SPIDER-MAN (Sony), WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN (Toonz) and IRON MAN (Method Films). On Aug. 14, 2007, Lionsgate will release the animated direct-to-DVD DOCTOR STRANGE and will release the animated TEEN AVENGERS on DVD in July 2008.

On the videogame front, Marvel looks forwarded to IRON MAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK from Sega, which will be timed with the release of the feature films in 2008.

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Rick DeMott
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