The History of Marvel Films

Marvel comics were thriving in the late ’60s and early ’70s in a record-breaking amount of money. So it only made sense for them to get into the movie industry, especially considering DC, their rival, had been doing it already for decades. Marvel still didn’t get into making theatre releases a while later, but they did start making films for TV in the 1960s.

Some of these cheap and short films included spider-man, doctor strange, hulk, etc. Eventually, New World Pictures acquired Marvel productions and started making films in the 1980s. Their first was a movie based on the Hulk TV show that was already thriving, named The Incredible Hulk Returns

Not even a year after they made a film, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings acquired the rights to Marvel productions with a deal in how much profit each company acquired. Perelman, the CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, wanted every Marvel Superhero to be iconic and recognizable in the film industry. Of course, this would happen eventually, but not as soon as Perelman wanted.

In the ‘90s, Marvel was experiencing a rollercoaster of profits, and whilst they were riveting in the success, they bought out several merchandising companies. The thought was, if they expanded to more toys, then kids would watch their movies, gaining them more profit. This did not work at all, as superhero toys were dying out and no one was buying them anymore. Perelman then wanted to merge the merchandising companies completely into Marvel, but Marvel higher-ups were not pleased with this idea and rejected it.

This toy mishappening wasn’t helping the severe crash in stocks at Marvel, as a huge comic problem in the industry was happening at this point. Marvel’s idea to stay out of bankruptcy was to sell most of their most iconic characters for film companies to own. Many characters were taken from Marvel such as Spider-man, X-men, Iron Man, Hulk, etc.

At the time, selling these characters was the best thing to do for the Marvel company and they would not know the future success of their films. To further add to this, Perelman was begging for the company to move more of their characters into theatres to make profits. Finally, Marvel contemplated the idea, and gave in to Perelman, allowing the birth of Marvel Studios.

Right away, Marvel Studios was bought out by Fox though, and they would continue to use this for success. Together they made a 10-year plan for all future Marvel Movies, including Daredevil, X-men, Fantastic Four, etc. Their first film together was Blade in 1998, a commercial success that furthermore launched the idea that this was the clear direction for Marvel.

Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Poster

Later on, Marvel was in need of money because of their recent loan to make Marvel Studios completely independent. Marvel made a deal with universal to use some of their characters, such as Iron Man, Thor, and Black Widow.

With this acquisition, Marvel decided to move up Kevin Fiege to Junior Executive of the company, and he had a plan. It all started with Iron Man in 2008, as it was a critical and commercial success that made Marvel Studios hundreds of millions in the box office. They continued with the idea of a Marvel Cinematic Universe with fantastic films that everyone was liking.

In 2009, Disney acquired Marvel Studios and solidified the quality and profit these movies were being made with. Disney still owns Marvel Studios and it doesn’t look like that’s changing soon as they have made billions of dollars off of it. The MCU is the most successful film franchise, and it’s all because of a few acquisitions and stressful deals.


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