You can now. Disney has closed a deal to buy Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in stock and cash, making the Mouse House the proud owner of more than 5,000 Marvel characters, including Spidey, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk. Get the specifics after the jump. Can you picture Spider-Man and Mickey Mouse with their arms around each other, gleefully belting out 'We Are Family'?
You can now. Disney has closed a deal to buy Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in stock and cash, making the Mouse House the proud owner of more than 5,000 Marvel characters, including Spidey, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk.
According to Variety, under the pact, Marvel shareholders will receive $30 per share in cold hard cash, in addition to 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. Taking into account the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, that nets out to roughly $50 per share, or $4 billion total. The boards of both companies have ratified the pact, and the acquisition will become a done deal pending antitrust review and the approval of Marvel shareholders.
So how does this affect the parties involved, as well as the average moviegoer? For Marvel stockholders it means a boatload of cash right now and the promise of more to come down the road. For Disney, it likely means a wealth of future profits from films, TV shows, toy lines, theme-park attractions and video games and, of course, comic books. While established cash cows like Columbia's 'Spider-Man,' Fox's 'X-Men,' and Paramount's 'Iron Man' will remain at their respective studios (as will soon-to-be-launched properties such as 'Thor') for the foreseeable future (until their current contracts expire or lapse), Disney will have a sprawling arsenal of Marvel crimefighters and villains at its disposal, so it should have absolutely zero problem launching its own lucrative blockbuster franchises.
As far as moviegoers and Marvel Comics fans are concerned, the franchises with which fans are already familiar are staying put, so there won't be any Disney-induced changes there. And, considering that Disney knows how to produce and market crowd-pleasers, any new properties the studio launches should do just fine ... so, in theory, it looks like everyone wins.