Cinema, merchandise, comics, the Marvel empire weighs billions

Finance News

In just over 20 years, the Marvel group has gone from being a bankrupt company (1996), plagued by the decline of “comic-books”, to a diversified empire generating billions of dollars a year.

Here is an overview of the activities of the group created by Stan Lee, who died Monday , which does not publish separate results, being now controlled by Disney, who bought it for $ 4 billion in 2009.


In just ten years, Marvel has produced twenty films, from “Iron Man” to “Ant-Man and the Wasp”, and raised $ 6.8 billion at the only North American box office, according to the boxed website -Office Mojo.

At the global level, according to a calculation made by AFP (based on Mojo Box Office figures, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Forbes), revenues reach $ 17.5 billion, for total production costs of $ 3.59 billion only (excluding marketing and promotion).

Many other titles are already in production, from “Captain Marvel” to “Sipder-Man: Far From Home”, through the fourth part of “Avengers” or “Black Widow”.

The series

Marvel has been producing animated series for television for several decades, but has changed gear thanks to an agreement made in 2012 with the Netflix platform. In particular, film versions of “Daredevil”, “Luke Cage”, “Jessica Jones” and “Iron Fist” were released.

According to several US media, Netflix would pay about $ 300 million a year to Disney to offer the series exclusively produced for the service, but also films and series of the group. The agreement will come to an end in 2019 with the launch of a dedicated Disney platform. 

Video games

 Marvel has been licensing video games for over 35 years, but again, it has revised its ambitions upward and, in early 2017, entered into a partnership with the Japanese game publisher Square Enix.

The game “Spider-Man”, produced by the US publisher Insomniac Games, ranks second in the PlayStation 4 games sales in 2018, according to the VGChartz site, with 4.6 million copies sold, for a retail price of 60 dollars coins in the United States.

Toys and derived products

Marvel has signed licensing agreements for toys, t-shirts, disguises, shoes, watches, suitcases, bags, laptop cases, caps, and jewelery.


Since July 2014, the entertainment group Feld Entertainment has produced, under a Marvel license, a show called “Marvel Universe Live! Which features the famous superheroes, played by actors. More than 40 dates are already planned in 2019.


Although they are no longer the core of Marvel’s activity, as was the case at the beginning of the group, in 1961 comics remain an important part of the group’s DNA. Marvel continues to publish regularly and explores new worlds and new characters.

The amusement parks

Disney inaugurated the “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!” Attraction in May 2017 at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim. In March 2018, Marvel announced that dedicated areas would be created at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland, with new attractions.

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