×

Why Par, not Disney, gets ‘Avengers’ credit

Paramount brass baked some goodies into its Marvel deal with Disney

Nearly a year after Disney brokered a deal with Paramount to take over the marketing and distribution of “The Avengers,” the Mouse House is curiously missing from the first marketing materials for the superhero pic.

Disney’s logo wasn’t on the teaser poster presented at Comic-Con in San Diego this summer, and the studio also doesn’t appear in the first full trailer that went online Tuesday — just days before New York Comic Con kicks off Thursday.

Instead, it’s Paramount that’s prominently displayed alongside Marvel Studios.

Knowing Disney wanted to turn “The Avengers” into a franchise and bank on the success of “Iron Man” after buying Marvel for $4 billion, Par’s brass negotiated a deal in which it continues to collect 8% of the B.O. as part of fees it would have earned for distribbing the pic, as it did with the two “Iron Man” pics, “Thor” and “Captain America.” It gets 9% for “Iron Man 3.”

At the minimum, it earns $115 million, should they not perform.

At the same time, the deal granted Par placement on the marketing materials for both titles, even though Marvel’s films are fully owned by Disney and will be solely distributed and marketed by the Mouse House, Variety learned.

Because of the ownership, Disney wants Marvel to get the spotlight, since Marvel = Disney.

Still, pay TV rights for “The Avengers” belong to Par’s Epix, not Starz, through which Disney releases its pics.

The Avengers,” which assembles the titular superheroes from the “Iron Man,” “Thor” and “Captain America” pics, bows next May, while “Iron Man 3” is out May 2013.

“In completing this agreement, Disney will leverage these two highly anticipated films across the multiple global platforms of the Walt Disney Co.,” studio chairman Rich Ross said Oct. 18, 2010, when the deal was announced.

Unfortunately for Disney, moviegoers may think they belong to Paramount.

To a point: Whenever “The Avengers” is discussed, it’s Disney that’s managing the superheroes, with the studio bringing the pic’s thesps to its D23 Expo, in Anaheim, Calif., in August, and managing Marvel’s presence at New York Comic-Con this week.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Rita And Tom Hanks Coronavirus

    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Return to U.S. After Coronavirus Diagnosis in Australia

    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are back home in the U.S. after they revealed they had contracted coronavirus and were quarantined in Australia. Hanks gave an update on Twitter Saturday morning, thanking everyone who had helped them in Australia and assuring people that they are still isolating themselves in the U.S. “Hey, folks…We’re home now [...]

  • Film Comment Magazine Goes on Hiatus

    Film Comment Magazine to Go on Hiatus as Film at Lincoln Center Lays Off Half of Staff

    Many companies are being financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the Film at Lincoln Center is the latest organization to have to lay off employees and pause some of their operations. On Friday, executive director Lesli Klainberg released a memo announcing that the center had to furlough or lay off about half of its [...]

  • "Birds of Prey" egg sandwich

    'Birds of Prey' Actor Bruno Oliver Recreates Harley Quinn's Famous Sandwich

    When actor Bruno Oliver booked the role of short order cook Sal in “Birds of Prey: (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” he had no idea how significant Sal and his breakfast sandwich were to the story. “You couldn’t tell from the audition necessarily and as actors, we always worry about our scenes [...]

  • Minyan

    'Minyan': Film Review

    Best known for the unexpectedly soul-shattering San Francisco suicide doc “The Bridge,” indie filmmaker Eric Steel came out and came of age in 1980s New York at a moment just before AIDS devastated the city’s gay community. Such timing must have been surreal, to assume something so liberating about one’s own identity, only to watch [...]

  • Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches

    Film New Roundup: Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches North American Distribution

    In today’s film news roundup, “The Queen’s Corgi” finds a home, the Overlook Film Festival is postponed and the California Film Commission adjusts its tax credit rules due to the coronavirus. ACQUISITION Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the animated family comedy feature “The Queen’s Corgi,” and plans to make it available on DVD and to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content