Thursday, February 02, 2006

Marvel Plays With Hasbro Games And Toys ...

January 8, 2006

Hasbro, Inc. and Marvel Entertainment, Inc., have announced a license under which Marvel has granted Hasbro toy/game rights to its superhero properties including franchises "Spider-Man", "Fantastic Four", "X-Men" and "Captain America".

Through the agreement, Hasbro has obtained the rights to develop products based on Marvel's characters in a wide range of toy and game categories -- including action figures, role play, preschool toys, board games and puzzles. The agreement covers both the 'classic' comic book look of the characters as well as product lines inspired by Marvel-themed movies.

Marvel terminated its licensing agreement with Toy Biz Worldwide Ltd. December 31, 2005.

The five-year license with Hasbro, the home of "G.I. Joe", gives the company the rights to bring Marvel Entertainment-based toy products to retail beginning January 1, 2007.

Hasbro's first full line of products based on Marvel properties is expected to center on "Ghost Rider" and "Spider-Man 3" scheduled for release May 4, 2007. Marvel has also agreed to provide services to Hasbro in connection with the licensed toys.

The license guarantees Marvel $205 million in royalty and service fee payments, of which $70 million would be payable on the theatrical release of Spider-Man 3 and $35 million upon the theatrical release of Spider-Man 4.

"Hasbro's multi-year agreement with Marvel provides Hasbro with proven properties in categories where we have been long-time industry leaders," said Brian Goldner, Hasbro's President, U.S. Toy Segment.

Tim Rothwell, Worldwide President, Consumer Media Group, Marvel Entertainment, added, "Hasbro is renowned in the toy arena. It supports its key brands with heavy promotional and advertising campaigns and their innovation provides consumers with an unmatched retail experience.

"We believe aligning with Hasbro as our master toy and game partner sets the stage for us to further extend the global and domestic reach and image of the overall Marvel brand.

"Juli Boylan, Sr. Vice President, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, the limited partner in Spider-Man Merchandising LP, stated, "We are thrilled to have Hasbro develop toys and games for "Spider-Man 3".

"We are very proud of the "Spider-Man" film franchise and feel Hasbro will play a pivotal role in its continued success."


November 9, 2005

Marvel Studios :

X-Men 3, Fox - Currently filming, May 26, 2006 release

Ghost Rider, Sony - Filming completed, July 14, 2006 release

The Punisher 2, Lions Gate - Writer, targeted for fall 2006 release

Marvel Character Feature Film Development Pipeline (Partial List) :

Spider-Man 3, Sony - Director, May 4, 2007 release

Fantastic Four 2, Fox - Director, July 4, 2007 release

Silver Surfer, Fox - TBD
Wolverine, Fox - TBD
Deathlok, Paramount - TBD
Hulk 2, Universal - TBD
Namor, Universal - TBD
Black Widow, Lions Gate - TBD
Iron Man - TBD
Thor - TBD

Film Projects Included in the Marvel Film-Backed Credit Facility :

Ant-Man, The Avengers, Black Panther, Captain America, Cloak & Dagger, Doctor Strange, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Power Pack and Shang-Chi.

The first film is anticipated for release in 2008.

Marvel Character Animated Direct-to-Video Projects in Development :

Partnership with Lions Gate to develop, produce and distribute original animated DVD features.

Four projects in 2D/3D format are in development with the first releases slated for 2006.

Titles include: Ultimate Avengers (February 21, 2006 release), Ultimate Avengers 2, Iron Man and Doctor Strange.

Marvel Character Animated TV Projects in Development :Partnership with Moonscoop SAS (formerly Antefilms Productions) to produce an original animated television series based on the Fantastic Four. Twenty-six, 30-minute 2D/3D animated episodes are planned with initial TV airings in 2006.

Marvel Character Live Action TV Projects in Development :

Alter Ego, Blade, Skrull Kill Krew

September 5, 2005

Marvel Enterprises has announced its new name 'Marvel Entertainment' and raised the $525 million it needs to produce movies based on its 5,000 proprietary, comic book characters.

Marvel Entertainment plans to produce feature films, focusing on superheroes 'Captain America', the 'Avengers', 'Nick Fury', 'Black Panther', 'Ant-Man', 'Cloak & Dagger', 'Dr. Strange', 'Hawkeye', 'Power Pack' and 'Shang-Chi'.

In April, Paramount Pictures, under new chair Brad Grey announced a deal to distribute/market the Marvel slate.The first film is expected to be released in 3 years.

Marvel CEO Avi Arad said he officially will begin attaching scriptwriters to all 10 projects beginning this month.

"No character before its time," Arad said.

"The scripts will dictate which is first ... I cannot wait to tell the 'Captain America' story."

Marvel said it would budget each film in the $50 -$160 million range.

"These movies are tentpoles for either summer or the holidays," Arad said.

Paramount will participate domestically and in most countries, though not in Japan, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and France, where Marvel will sell its films directly.

The seven-year, $525 million 'debt facility' was arranged by Merrill Lynch and Pierce, Fenner & Smith and will be loaned to MVL Film Finance, an indirect Marvel subsidiary set up to protect the lenders' investment should Marvel ever declare bankruptcy.

Marvel also pledged theatrical film rights to 10 characters as collateral.Although rights to some characters could transfer to the lenders in as soon as five years, should Marvel's film plans go awry, Arad said that will never happen.

"Trust me," he said. "I've protected this (Marvel) universe with my life."

Marvel will fund early development including scriptwriting of each film and then be reimbursed from the $525 million film-slate facility as each movie is greenlighted by Marvel Studios.Previously, Marvel profited from licensing its properties to the major studios.With the new deal, Marvel gets profits from box office receipts, home video, television, soundtracks and ancillary toy merchandise.

"Marvel has emerged as one of the strongest, most successful entertainment brands around the globe, with an enviable track record in feature films," Paramount's Grey said.