Marvel's Q3 Earnings: Enough To Make Mickey Sweat?

Illustration for article titled Marvels Q3 Earnings: Enough To Make Mickey Sweat?

Wondering how important movies are to Marvel? Without an Iron Man or Hulk this summer, profits fell a stunning 60% for the company's 3rd quarter of the year when compared with the same period last year. Should Disney be worried?

The company's net income dropped from $50.6 million to (a still impressive, let's face it) $20.4 million in Q3 of 2009, and it's not just down to the lack of a movie in theaters; earnings in every department, surprisingly including publishing, were down compared with the same period last year.

So, should Mickey and his friends be worried? Not panicking, perhaps, but the drop in publishing is concerning; while last summer had Marvel Comics' Secret Invasion mega-epic, this year has seen both an increase in the prices of individual issues as well as the volume of releases and successful "mini-events" like Dark Avengers/X-Men, Dark Reign, the relaunch of the Ultimate line and Captain America: Reborn, which most would've thought should've kept earnings level at least. Is this just another sign that Marvel's strength is now movie making and IP library? And if so, what happens if future movies are more Hulk or X-Men Origins: Wolverine than Iron Man?

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Marvel Net Income Declines 60% on Lower Film Revenue [Bloomberg]

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DISCUSSION

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I don't think this is really that big of a deal or should be a massive surprise.

Marvel's film branch is going to be a bigger cash cow and more popular than the original comics imprint.

Any year where they don't have any significant major film releases is naturally going to mean a lack of interest in their books and merchandising compared to a year that had 2 major movie releases.

We're still in the lull period before their ambitious cinematic gameplan starts to play out with Iron Man 2, then Thor, Captain America, Avengers, etc.

When that happens Marvel's worth could jump well past what they saw last year. Which is probably why investors wouldn't be too worried too as today the stock is still pretty much the same level as it was since the Disney buyout.