Marvel colors 1Q with accounting black

Spidey rights should give co. boost in second qtr.

HOLLYWOOD — A change in accounting rules helped Marvel Enterprises get back in the black for the first quarter, and comics giant said rights revenue from movie blockbuster “Spider-Man” should help keep things rosy for the foreseeable future.

The New York company Wednesday reported $760,000 in net income for the latest quarter. That compared with an $8.7 million loss in the same period a year ago.

Revenue rose 34% to $57.2 million.

Income from Sony Pictures’ release of “Spidey,” which has racked up more than $225 million in domestic box office since its May 3 bow, will start to show up in Marvel’s second quarter, officials said. To date, some $6 million in revenue has flowed into company coffers thanks to licensing income from the movie, they estimated.

“The release of ‘Spider-Man’ has marked the beginning of a new golden age of Marvel and our character portfolio,” Marvel chief Peter Cuneo said. “Our ability to synergize high-profile media events across all our divisions is evidenced by the extraordinary success of merchandise, comicbook and toy sales for the ‘Spider-Man’ movie.”

Upcoming planned movie releases based on Marvel comics characters include “Daredevil,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “X-Men II.”

Marvel was helped in the latest period by the recent elimination of goodwill and intangibles amortization in the accounting of quarterly expenses.

Marvel shares were down 33¢, or 5%, at $6.67 in midsesh trading, perhaps on some profit-taking after a recent run-up in the stock. The company’s share price has tripled over the past year, though it’s recently traded more than 20% off a 52-week high of $9.15, set April 24.