Disney CEO Bob Iger Dismisses Comic Book Movie Competition: ‘We’re Marvel’

Bob Iger New York

Disney CEO Bob Iger isn’t sweating the onslaught of movies featuring costumed superheroes even if it means there’s more competition than ever before for comic book movie fans.

For years, Marvel, which Disney bought for $4 billion in 2009, has been the dominant force in films about masked vigilantes. The race will get tighter next year, when DC Comics and its parent company Warner Bros. kick off an ambitious slate of roughly two movies a year featuring the likes of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

Iger thinks that the goodwill Marvel has generated from hits like “The Avengers,” “Iron Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” will allow it to continue to thrive in a space that’s getting a lot tighter.

“We’re Marvel,” Iger told journalists at the Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. “We’ve done a great job of building the Marvel brand, which we think when it’s on a movie really makes a difference. We’re seeing signs of that.”

He also expressed confidence in upcoming Marvel films such as “Ant-Man” and “Doctor Strange.”

“We like the Marvel slate that we have coming up,” said Iger. “We think they’re unique in many ways and have no concerns [about competition] whatsoever.”

Iger was mum about plans for another key entertainment franchise that Disney holds in its intellectual property stockpile — “Star Wars.” He declined to comment about the possibility that Disney’s parks operations would unveil a “Star Wars Land,” similar to its planned “Avatar”-themed resort, beyond saying, “We’re going to increase the presence of ‘Star Wars’ in our parks.”

He was also mum about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming seventh “Star Wars” film, “The Force Awakens,” only offering up that “excitement remains the same” and the film will have a presence at Comic-Con.

Looking ahead, Iger said that he planned to unveil new details about Shanghai Disney, the company’s first park in Mainland China, in the coming weeks.

“We’re building something that’s every bit Disney and distinctly Chinese,” he said. “We’re definitely building Disney Land in China, but we’re obviously respectful of the Chinese culture.”

Disney has fielded a number of box office hits in recent months, including “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and Pixar’s “Inside Out,” the story of the emotional life of a pre-teen girl. Asked which of the warring emotions from “Inside Out” he most embodied, Iger said, “You don’t run these companies without having a little bit of everything, but I’ll tell you these days at Disney we have a lot of Joy.”

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  1. Michael H. says:

    “We’ve done a great job of building the Marvel brand, which we think when it’s on a movie really makes a difference. We’re seeing signs of that.”

    The Marvel-brand is also on the latest Fantastic 4 movie. It might be made by Fox, but the general audience doesn’t really know that. To them a Marvel-flick is a Marvel-flick, especially when it’s flipping the pages right at the start of the movies (regardless of the studio). Heck, some might not even realize the difference between Marvel and DC. So, good luck with that…

  2. hollywould!:) says:

    Love him! One of the sharpest guys in the business!!

  3. Alex says:

    Marvel built the Marvel brand. Not Disney. Kind of arrogant and taking credit that is due to others.

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      Disney’s Iger isn’t saying that Disney built the Marvel brand which has been around for decades. Disney brought Marvel Studio’s from the brink of near extinction when they bought the financially struggling studio, instilled some much needed fiscal discipline and used Disney marketing acumen to promote the Marvel films around the globe..

  4. Ayu Dyah says:

    NO.. You’re Not.! You are a Disney who’s trying to monetize comic geeks of Marvel. I bet you don’t know even a tiniest thing about Marvel Comic.

    • Mantle Head says:

      Which is a good thing as comic books rot your brain (that’s the thing floating around in your numb skull).

  5. Summer Morning Rain says:

    While Bob Iger has been great for $DIS, there are concerns regarding Disney’s entry to Mainland China. Iger didn’t appear at the opening of the Disney Store in Shanghai or at the topping off of the castle at Shanghai Disneyland despite being in the city. You might want to Google “Disney CEO Fumbles Entry to China” by Redstone kin Gary Snyder. It’s an interesting read that, it appears, someone went to great lengths to almost wipe clean from the web.

  6. Rob_Wesb says:

    Marvel is not synonymous with being the Chuck Norris of movies.

  7. Jojuliz88 says:

    Well marvel has a proven track record. No denying that. This reminds me of when pixar made you story and started the trend of computer animated movies and everyone was saying the competition will be too much but as we see now pixar is the standard and other studios still exist. There is a lot of room for everyone. But DC has a lot to prove after that turd mos.

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