The Avengers, Nearly 3 Weeks Later...

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by JB2K, May 21, 2012.

  1. JB2K

    JB2K DIS Veteran

    Jan 17, 2008
    3,030 still #1 at the box office, besting such heavily-hyped films like Universal's "Battleship" and the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy "The Dictator".

    That, IMO, is quite an achievement, given the typical "shelf life" for most new releases goes about 2-3 weeks before it drops to the "cheap cinemas", and, ultimately, home video.

    And there was something else reported this morning...

    "The Avengers" is now the most-successful Disney movie of all time, joining the league of Hollywood record-setters "Avatar", "Titanic", and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2".

    I realize anything connected to the Marvel brand has become something of a bone of contention with Disney "purists" since Disney acquired Marvel, but I have to ask...

    ...your thoughts now?? Does the fact this franchise/movie has officially performed beyond the Walt Disney Company's wildest dreams trump what was said on the boards a while back about Iron Man, Thor, etc. "not fitting in" with the likes of Mickey and the Princesses?

    Better yet, now that "The Avengers" is a cash cow for WDC (we haven't even considered merchandising and other monies made through retail stores, etc.), will that inspire Disney to find a way (with wads of cash in hand) to include their most successful franchise at one of the Florida parks?
  2. AndyPok1

    AndyPok1 Back in MCO!

    Mar 21, 2011
    I can't foresee any amount of cash or any way Universal management would agree to remove the Mississippi clause from the contract.

    In amusement parks (a la Cedar Point/Six Flags), you can much more easily debrand. It happens relatively often. If that was the case, I'm sure Disney could buy out Universal. However, in theme parks, it is a much more difficult endeavor. While they could probably debrand The Hulk almost immediately (give it a paint job and rename it something like 'The Destructor') and the area within 6-9 months, what do you do with Spiderman? Besides Harry Potter, that is IoA's flagship ride. It doesn't work without the story. And you can't just make up a new story and new characters.

    Not to mention, Universal just has to love the fact that it gnaws at Disney to some degree. (However, I bet Disney is cashing Universal's royalty checks every month too...)
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  4. FireDancer

    FireDancer DIS Veteran

    Apr 3, 2008
    I'm very glad the movie is doing well. Some of it was filmed here and I got to see and hear it on a couple of days so I feel as though I have a vested interest.

    I'm not so sure Disney needs the presence of the Marvel characters in the parks. I think they would fit into DHS just fine but in reality while I know it is part of Disney and think it was a good purchase by the company I don't need to see it integrated into the parks. If they really wanted to I'm sure they could offer Universal a bit of cash or see what the penalty is for breaking the clause. If the penalty is less than they are willing to pay they can just say forget it and pay up. It is done with the EPA all the time where the fine for breaking some environmental regulation is less than the benefit gained from it.

    What I wonder is if they can get a character greeting into DTD. It isn't a theme park and while it wouldn't be a ride they could at least get some photo ops for the boys (and girls who are into it) and maybe even a Marvel character meal. I don't have enough of a desire to read through the contract to see if that is possible.
  5. JB2K

    JB2K DIS Veteran

    Jan 17, 2008
    I read that at one of Universal's Asia parks, the "Spider-Man" attraction was reset to "Transformers", so that may be a possibility given they, too, are a successful movie franchise.

    But then again, I imagine "Spider-Man" would not be an immediate priority for Disney, since even the film rights to that character belong to someone else for the long-haul (Sony's Columbia Pictures unit). The Hulk, OTOH, is a main character in the current movie, so deals could be made...

    Yeah, I thought the same thing -- I guess it ultimately depends-upon how badly Disney wants a piece of the action in terms of theme park dollars...
  6. WaltD4Me

    WaltD4Me <font color=royalblue>PS...I tried asking for wate

    Apr 22, 2003
    Nope, it doesn't change my mind one bit. I liked Avengers, I'm glad Disney is making money off of it, but making a boatload of money doesn't make them fit in at Disney to me and I honestly don't understand the need to make them fit. Disney is it's own unique brand with it's own style...much as Universal is it's own unique brand and style. They each have their own appeal. If I wanted Marvel characters and their type of attractions, I would go to Universal, why must the two be meshed together? It's like an ice cream shop offering meatloaf and mashed potatoes because there is a diner next door and they just gotta have the meatloaf crowd. I just don't get it.
  7. DCTooTall

    DCTooTall <MARQUEE BEHAVIOR=ALTERNATE><img src=http://www.em

    Apr 24, 2008
    For people wondering about how Marvel fits in with Disney's Studios, I have only 1 question:

    How is Marvel any different than Touchstone or Mirimax? Two studios that were technically Disney. The only difference is that Disney has in recent history decided to once again release all their films under the Disney Studios label instead of using other labels to hide the fact it was a Disney movie. (Touchstone was started after Disney Exec's realized that [at the time] People were avoiding "Disney" movies because they thought of them as kid films, even if they were not kid films)

    As for Marvel showing up at the Florida Parks..... not gonna happen. The Universal contract is pretty clear about regional exclusivity, and fact that it's in perpetuity means that either 1. Universal would need to do something incredibly stupid to break the terms of the contract [And Marvel has to inform them of issues they have and give Universal time to fix it before they can revoke the rights], or 2. Universal would need to willingly give up the rights.

    With the major money just spent upgrading the film ride at Spiderman, it doesn't look like Universal is in any rush to abandon the contract. (Let alone the other major capital expenditures in upgrading and expanding the park currently going on)

    So That would mean that basically, Disney would need to give them a reason to give up the rights. So let's look at the $$$ side of the deal.

    As part of the contract, (Keep in mind, the contract was written and enacted between the 2 parties when Marvel was pretty much JUST the comics. The Xmen and Spiderman Movies hadn't even been released yet), Universal every year pays Marvel (disney) a set licensing fee which increases every year based off certain inflation factors [set in the contract]. On Top of that licensing fee, they pay a royalty on all Marvel merchandise sold in the parks. They are also required to spend a certain percentage of their Advertising budget annually on exposure for their Marvel attractions and presence (Helping to bring even more free market awareness of the Marvel Properties to Marvel/Disney).

    On top of the checks going to Disney, Universal is responsible for maintaining the attractions and appearance of the Marvel area of their park, As well as all the development costs they spent on designing their attractions to begin with. (Since this was all Pre-Marvel movies, this meant that Universal assumed a LOT of risk at the start of the contract as there was not any real guarantee there would be demand for all things Marvel at the time).

    So basically.... Disney is currently collecting a lot of checks from Universal for pretty much no work or expense on their side. They are also continuing to get exposure for their Marvel Properties thru advertising paid for by Universal. Universal in turn is able to continue bringing people into their parks who may be interesting in Marvel attractions, or meeting Marvel Characters which they have the rights too. (Pretty much anything they are currently using, or "groups"...such as Avengers and Fantastic 4, included all related villians). People who in turn are spending money on admission and merch at their stores.

    It's kind of a Win/Win situation in a lot of ways right now. For Universal to allow Disney to Buy out the contract however, You are looking at several things against that....mostly on the Disney side of things.

    Universal just spent a nice chunk of change to upgrade the film and projection systems for Spiderman. They also hold a lot of Leverage here because in order to give up the rights, they would have to completely re-theme the entire land.....Which would be a lot more involved than just throwing up a new coat of pant and changing some signage. You can pretty much guarantee that for them to even consider the idea, Disney would not only need to throw a large amount of $$ their way to convince them to give up the contract, but Universal would also require that Disney fork over even more $$$ to help cover the costs of retheming/rebuilding the entire section of the park.

    Disney on the other hand, would be giving up their guaranteed checks they currently get for doing nothing. The would then be forced to give a MASSIVE Amount of $$$ To Universal to get back the rights. and THEN, They would have to spend a huge amount of money in order to design, build, and maintain any attractions within the Florida parks using the rights they just regained. It's extremely unlikely any accountants or stockholders would go along with any idea that has them giving up the nice checks they are getting now and at the same time start spending even more $$$ in the process in order to gain the ability to have a few M&G's and maybe an attraction or 2 added that really...when you think about it... aren't going to do anything to add a significant addition to their bottom line.

    Disney would also have to risk the inevitable comparison any attraction they designed using the properties to the attractions that Universal had. Considering there are still a lot of people who believe that Spiderman is STILL one of the best rides in Florida (At least, Dark Ride) and that Disney has yet to match it over the past 13yrs, they'd have some large shoes to fill.

    And something to keep in mind too.... One of the big reasons for Disney to build an attraction based off a movie/property is to allow the "synergy" to allow profits from that property to cross the multiple divisions of the company. While it would make sense in other Disney Parks to help bring Avengers/Marvel based items to draw guests interested in those things to those parks, In Florida they already have a park drawing those guests....It just isn't owned by Disney [but they get a cut of the $$ from it]. We've already already seen how the Draw of people to Harry Potter also helped increase the numbers of guests heading to WDW.... So if Disney can get the "marvel bump" from a theme park connection in Florida, without needing to spend the money building and advertising an attraction, Why would they even want to build it? Orlando is a very unique market in which anything that's good for Universal is good for Disney as well.

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