I’m late jumping on the ball about Disney buying out Marvel. In fact, you probably have heard everything you need to hear about it. Sorry, here comes some more. In an unprecedented deal Disney, the house of Mouse, has bought the house that X built. Marvel Entertainment has been snatched up for the sum of 4 BILLION DOLLARS. <Insert Dr. Evil here>
Sorry I couldn’t resist. This is an unprecedented deal which gives Disney control over more than 5,000 characters. The big question is “What about Universal?”
What about them? All kinds of different answers are popping up all over the web with Universal saying that “Oh we’re fine, we maintain control” to “As long as we follow the rules” to even “We have control over every Marvel theme park attraction East of the Mississippi”. Doesn’t sound to reassuring to me.
So being that I am a complete nerd about Universal, lets look at what will happen should it go the Way of the Mouse.
1. Nothing-Universal keeps the rights to the characters they already have in the parks, with characters already in rides, shops and eateries. That contract is held up, and honored, but no new attractions are able to see light of day with any characters they don’t already have.
2. Disney finds a loop hole around it and extends the contract to Universal….for a premium. Universal pays it, knowing that it will take a big overhaul to get rid of the characters in the park.
3. Universal says to hell with Marvel, and opens up “Total Action Island”. Or better yet, rethemes it to some completely original comic-type idea with all original Universal characters. Or worse, they get the Paramount bug and name the rides after random bad movies that no one cares about and all themeing is gone.
Regardless of what happens to Universal they will be fine. It might sting a little, but it will be fine in the long run. After all, they have Harry Potter.
No, here comes Disney. Instead of investing money into their current holdings they dump 4 billion dollars into a new deal that gives them control over one of the biggest comic and entertainment companies currently in production. Don’t let the words fool you. The theme park business might be good for the characters, but plain and simple what Disney wants control over is the 5,000 characters that make video games, movies, t-shirts and lunch boxes. Spider man is property of Sony, Xmen and Fantastic Four belong to Fox, Iron Man to Paramount, and Hulk to Universal. But Marvel Studios still gets a chunk of that pie. And who gets the pie now? That’s right. It’s really a smart business move, but an extremely greedy and ill sighted one. Again, why not turn the money that you spent on this deal inward and clean up your parks, and work on making your movies better? When was the last time Disney had a bonofied hit? Something that ran away with our hearts and our wallets? Nemo. Thats when. Do you really need all of these characters? And what is this going to do to the current state of the comic industry? Are we going to see our beloved Wolverine in Adventures at Disney now? How about Deadpool not cracking wise because we don’t want a nation of smart asses? If you think that Disney purchasing a company doesn’t have an impact, well guess what…you’re wrong. Disney owns ABC, which a few years ago decided to pull Monday night Football on ABC and put it on ESPN. The result? The lowest ratings Football has ever gotten. NBC saw this great chance to roll out “Sunday Night Football” and sold it as a family event! So much for not having a negative impact.
The good news, if any, is this: Disney has deep pockets, and we may finally get a good Fantastic Four movie down the pike if Fox ever gives up their rights to it. We could possibly see a bunch of great new characters walking around at Disney parks…however unlikely…And the best possibility of them all? A new Disney Park….Disney’s Hero Kingdom! Of course, they could just use that money and effort and finally build a GODDAMN INDIANA JONES RIDE IN ORLANDO!!! But, we can’t have everything we want.