Disney Expands it Cast of Characters by Acquiring Marvel 4


spider man marvel

Hide your jewels and tiaras ladies; the men are storming the magic castle.

The media is abuzz today with the news that the Walt Disney Company plans to purchase Marvel Entertainment, owner of Marvel Comics.

Are Mickey Mouse, the princesses and Hannah Montana not enough for the entertainment giant?

Apparently not. In the current economy, with sales of DVDs waning, less people traveling to theme parks, and a largely female audience for its television and movie endeavors, Disney is looking to cast a wider net.

According to today’s Wall Street Journal, “The move fits with Disney’s stated strategy of driving revenue from popular content over time across multiple platforms. It also gives the company a boost with young male audiences, where Marvel’s characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor are particularly popular. Disney has shown more strength with females from its properties like Hannah Montana.”

Disney will use its new ownership of popular characters such as Spider-Man, X-Men and the Hulk to rope in male fans. Today’s New York Times suggests, “Marvel’s intellectual property tends to be more popular with boys — an area where Disney could use help. While the likes of Hannah Montana and the blockbuster Princesses merchandising line have solidified Disney’s hold on little girls, franchises for boys have been harder to come by.”

With the acquisition comes a marketing plan targeted directly at the former Marvel audience. Marvel characters will be incorporated into all the Disney theme parks world wide, the Disney cable television channels, as well as consumer products such as toys, video games and clothing.

Is Disney’s acquisition an attempt to purchase Marvel’s already existing male market?

Disney’s CFO Thomas O. Saggs would disagree, “This deal is not principally driven by cost saving or redundancies. What really drives this is the opportunity for synergies over time.”

While Thomas Saggs hopes for synergy, one has to wonder, can men and women share the happiest place on earth?


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