This morning Marvel Enterprises released their 3rd Quarter (profit up sharply, sales flat) for which you can read the full announcement here. Later on in the morning, they held their quarterly Earnings Conference Call. You can listen to the archived call here. During the call, Marvel Studios’ Avi Arad gave an update on most of the movies they have in the works, and here is a rundown of the highlights, thanks to Newsarama.
During Marvel’s conference call, Avi Arad said that he wished to clear up some misinformation about Marvelâ€™s relationship with Artisan, stating that the studio (which was just acquired by Lionâ€™s Gate) does not have â€œ15 Marvel properties.â€ The only property Artisan has any stake in currently is Punisher. Arad said that if things go well between Artisan and Lionâ€™s Gate, Marvel may expand and/or continue their relationship with the studio. Arad stressed that, despite reports, Artisan does not have the rights to Iron Fist and Black Panther.
Other topics mentioned by Arad included:
– Spider-Man 2 just completed principle photography
– Iron Man is targeted to be a PG-13 release and on target for a â€™05 release.
– Elektra, which is in current development, will be the â€œsequelâ€ to Daredevil, with the character first appearing there, and then be reunited with Daredevil in Daredevil 2.
– Marvel is â€œfeverishlyâ€ working on Fantastic Four with Fox, and that the studio has it on it’s schedule for December 2004.
– Hulk 2 is in development for an 06 release. Arad reported that 6.5 million DVDs shipped for the release, and 3.5 sold within seven days.
– Namor is in active development.
– Arad said that X-Men 3 is in development, but neither Marvel or Fox is willing to tentetively put it on the schedule yet, for either 05 or 06 release.
– Arad reported that Captain America is in discussion with top writers and directors, now that litigation surrounding the character has been resolved.
– Arad said that the production budget for Punisher was in the upper $30s, while the marketing budget will most likely be in the mid $20s (millions).
-Finally, Arad said that he should be able to release more information about upcoming Marvel film projects closer to the November 18th analysts’ call.
Other notes from the conference call:
– Spider-Man 2 is already seeing more licensee activity that the first film.
– Marvel is already talking to, and negotiating with licensees for Fantastic Four.
– Marvel will be working to expand its worldwide licensing business, and as such, will be opening offices in Europe and Japan to further licensee relationships internationally. The offices should be opening within the next 60 days.
-Man-Thing was named as the intial fruit of the company’s strategic review – a low-budget film with Marvel creative support which may be the model for many Marvel properties in the future. Marvel acknowledged that the film will have very limited licensing, but it could spawn sequels.
-Final monies due in from Spider-Man are related to television and cable rights for the film. Revenue from those deals is expected in 2004.
-Spider-Man 2 merchandise rollout should begin in early Q1 2004 and will build through to the release of the film.