Wednesday, May 09, 2012

It's Confirmed: Disney's Making 'Avengers' Sequel

MAY 9, 2012 - It's like saying the sun is going to rise again tomorrow but now it is official! Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger said its Marvel Entertainment group is already making a sequel to The Avengers.

The blockbuster movie, featuring a slew of stars including Robert Downey Jr., raked in US$207 (RM621) million in its first three days of release in the United States, bringing its global box office to around US$702 million.

"It's a great illustration of why we like Marvel so much - great characters, great storytelling and a wonderful ability for them to bring their characters and stories to the big screen so effectively," Iger said yesterday during the company's quarterly earnings call.

Disney is aggressively mining Marvel's library of comic-book characters, who were the key attraction when the Burbank entertainment giant acquired Marvel for US$4 billion in 2009. Disney plans to release "Iron Man 3" and "Thor 2" next year, Iger said, with a sequel to "Captain America: The First Avenger" due out in 2014.

Iger also said that Disney's parks and resorts planning group, known as the "Imagineers," have been working on ways to incorporate Marvel into the company's theme parks, beyond Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where Universal Studios holds the rights to the characters.

The success of The Avengers is propelling merchandise sales. In many cases, products are sold out, prompting the global licensing team to work with licensees and retailers to restock shelves as quickly as possible. Even Marvel's big green monster, the Hulk (pictured above), is getting love from consumers, thanks to Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of Bruce Banner and his powerful alter ego.


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