Marvel Entertainment is an American entertainment company, best known as the owner of Marvel Comics. In August 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Inc. for $4 billion. It has been a limited liability company (LLC) since then.
The 2012 film The Avengers became the first Marvel Studios film to be distributed under Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. In August 2015, Marvel Studios was re-structured from Marvel Entertainment into Walt Disney Studios.
Marvel and theme parks
Although Marvel is owned by The Walt Disney Company, which is by far the largest theme park operator in the world by attendance, Marvel properties can be found in competitors' parks due to preexisting agreements that precede Disney's 2009 acquisition of Marvel, leading to a complex relationship between Marvel and the theme park industry, as well as what is now Disney intellectual property appearing prominently on non-Disney properties.
Marvel has licensed several of its major characters to Universal Parks and Resorts since the 1990s, resulting in Marvel attractions, dining, and entertainment options in Universal's parks, such as Marvel Mania at Universal Studios Hollywood (since closed), The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal Studios Japan, and most notably, the Marvel Super Hero Island themed land at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Florida. Following its acquisition of Marvel, Disney continues to honor Marvel's existing contracts with its competitors. As such, Marvel characters used in Universal's parks, such as the X-Men, Avengers, and Spider-Man, are barred from appearing in any Disney parks in the same region. As Universal Studios Hollywood no longer uses Marvel characters in its park, Marvel characters, exhibits, and film previews have appeared at the nearby Disneyland with no consequence.
The Iron Man Experience is a simulator attraction located in Tomorrowland at Hong Kong Disneyland that opened on January 11, 2017. Several Marvel meet-and-greets have appeared and continue to appear at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, featuring characters such as Captain America, Thor, and Spider-Man. Previews of Marvel Cinematic Universe films Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man also operated in these parks. In 2013, the Walt Disney World Monorail System's Monorail Black received a vinyl wrap promoting the film, Iron Man 3. As Iron Man appears in Universals Islands of Adventure, and is therefore not permitted to appear in Walt Disney World theme parks, this monorail train was only operated on the Magic Kingdom lines, and not the Epcot line, which actually enters the Epcot theme park.
In August 2016, IMG Worlds of Adventure, an indoor theme park in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is set to open, with themed lands based on Cartoon Network and Marvel Comics properties. The park's Marvel Adventure Zone is set to feature five major attractions, including Avengers Battle of Ultron and Doc Ock's Revenge. Set to open in an era where Marvel is more increasingly visible as a brand of Disney, Marvel's presence in Worlds of Adventure is, like Universal, made possible through licensing agreements predating Disney's acquisition. The park is part of the troubled Dubailand entertainment complex, a collection of theme parks that started construction in 2003 and aimed to be twice the size of Walt Disney World, but went on hold in 2008 amid global recession. Planned Six Flags, Universal, LEGOLAND, and DreamWorks projects were dropped from Dubailand, but the complex would resume construction in 2013. Theme park insider website Screamscape reported in 2012 that Disney "isn’t said to be too happy" regarding Marvel at Worlds of Adventure, opining that Disney hoped "this idea was just another Dubai project that would turn out to be vaporware." Disney now faces similar dilemmas after its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which includes intellectual properties such as The Simpsons, another media franchise represented in Universal Parks & Resorts.
In 2018, it was announced that Marvel-themed lands would be constructed at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. The Anaheim and Hong Kong expansions will be built as thematic extensions to the already-operating Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! and Iron Man Experience attractions, respectively.
- Fritz, Ben (September 23, 2009). "Disney tells details of Marvel Entertainment acquisition in a regulatory filing". Retrieved on 12 April 2011. Archived from the original on November 5, 2011.
- Disney Completes Marvel Acquisition, Fox Business, December 31, 2009
- Movie Brands Sorted by Total Gross - Box Office Mojo
- "IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE" (2 July 2012). Retrieved on 26 April 2016.
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