Some brief thoughts on the state of Marvel:
- In 2009, Disney paid four billion dollars for Marvel. It turns out this was a tremendous deal. Check it out…
- The first Avengers had a production budget of $220 million and worldwide total lifetime gross of $1.5 billion.
- The last Iron Man (released last summer) had a production budget of $200 million a worldwide total gross of $1.2 billion.
- Guardians of the Galaxy (released this year) had a production budget of $170 million and, so far, a worldwide total lifetime grow of $752 million.
- You can check out the rest of the portfolio’s performance on Box Office Mojo, but the point is: it appears they’ve already made their money back in five years and then some.
Four billion dollars still felt aggressive in 2009, but think about what they were buying. They weren’t just buying a catalog of heroes, they were buying a massive collection of stories about these heroes, their origins, their adventures, and often, their deaths.
Acquiring Marvel is arguably one of the smartest things Disney has ever done. I would not be surprised to find this on the list of some of the greatest every business decisions in history at some far point in the future.
I think of retcons as bug fixes. It’s the writers not only making sure the stories all fit together, but also that the stories are relevant and entertaining.
That’s a great way to look at it.