As Daredevil boasts its second consecutive week at the top of the domestic box office charts, grossing $70.5 million since its February 14 release, Marvel Studios, a division of Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: MVL), proves its library of more than 4,700 characters have major drawing power in Hollywood.
To date, Marvel character-based movies including Spider-Man, X-Men, Blade, Blade 2 and Daredevil have generated more than $1.5 billion in box office sales worldwide.
Daredevil, which was produced by 20th Century Fox/New Regency in association with Marvel Studios, stars Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan and Colin Farrell. Daredevil boasted the largest non-sequel opening in February history earning $42.5 million at the box office in spite of major winter storms along the East Coast. The success of Daredevil - which does not rank among the top 30-selling monthly Marvel comics -- as well as the incredible success of the Blade movies, proves that lesser-known Marvel characters have the potential to become blockbuster movie franchises.
"The Marvel Universe is now a proven commodity within Hollywood. The bottom line is all of our characters - no matter how 'big' they may seem - can translate into great movie franchises," said Avi Arad Marvel Studios CEO. "We are five for five with record-breaking box office successes and have two more Marvel releases slated for this summer. It's a testament to the broad appeal of these characters before mainstream audiences outside of the core comic fans. These super heroes have been successful within the Marvel pantheon for decades; it only makes sense that their translations to the big screen are just as fruitful."
Marvel's biggest success story and the largest grossing film of 2002, Spider-Man (from Columbia Pictures/Marvel Studios), grossed more than $800 million in worldwide box office receipts, catapulting it to the position of one of the top-grossing films of all-time, only to then set sales records for the DVD release.
The 2003 summer will usher two more Marvel movies to the silver screen. X2, the sequel to the $294 million X-Men picture, will be released by 20th Century Fox on May 2, further securing the franchise's prominence. X2 will star Academy Award winners Halle Berry and Ian McKellan as well as Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Famke Janssen. On June 20th, Universal Studios will release The Hulk, directed by Academy Award nominee Ang Lee and starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Connolly and Eric Bana. Additional Marvel movies slated for release include Spider-Man 2, The Fantastic Four, Namor, Iron Man, The Punisher, and Werewolf By Night.
Marvel-ous Carry Over
Marvel Enterprises has proven its ability to synergize high profile movie events across all divisions as evidenced by the success of merchandise, comic book and toy sales in the wake of recent film releases. Across all product categories, from traditional apparel to newer categories such as video games and the Company's Toy Biz toy lines, Marvel has created and met an overwhelming demand for products based on its highly visible characters. As these franchise entertainment events go through their natural life cycles, Marvel is positioned to continue to capitalize on their success through DVD/video sales, pay-per-view offerings, cable and broadcast TV rights and sequels.
With a library of over 4,700 proprietary characters, Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel's operations are focused in three areas: entertainment (Marvel Studios) and licensing, comic book publishing and toys (Toy Biz). Marvel facilitates the creation of entertainment projects, including feature films, DVD/home video, video games and television based on its characters and also licenses its characters for use in a wide range of consumer products and services including apparel, collectibles, snack foods and promotions. Marvel's characters are created by its comic book division, which continues to expand its leadership position in the U.S. and worldwide while also serving as an invaluable source of intellectual property. For additional information visit http://www.marvel.com