When you think of Kevin Fiege, you think
Architect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Rainmaker to the House of Mouse.
So it came as a genuine shock when news leaked into the public sphere of Marvel’s own Internal Civil War. That being that Kevin Feige was allegedly battling it out
against Marvel Entertainment CEO “Ike” Perlmutter
and the company’s Creative Committee.
And that the antagonistic tension was so serious
that Disney had to allegedly step in
and reorganize Marvel’s infrastructure and chain of command
just to keep Kevin Feige on board. It’s one It’s one thing to hear of people trying to grasp onto greater autonomy and promotions
but if these reports are to be believed
then what the hell kind of checks and balances were in place that Fiege, with a proven track record, threatened to walk? So let’s break this down. First, who is “Ike” Perlmutter?
1989, Marvel Entertainment Group was purchased from New World Pictures by investor, Ron Perelman
through his Holding Company at $82.5 million. Think of a holding company as a corporation that doesn’t directly produce goods or services but instead concentrates on owning enough of a company’s stock with voting rights
so that it can get income from the company
AND control its policies and management to protect its interests
aka align things to get more money in the future.
By 1991, Marvel saw unprecedented success with
Spider-man, X-Men and new comic, X-Force, selling in huge numbers.
So when they went public in July of that year the individual stock traded at $16 to $18 on the first day – unheard of for the comic book industry
at the time. So what did Perelman do with all of this money coming in?
He sought to Increase diversification and add new revenue streams by forming new divisions and securing acquisitions. Perelman began acquiring multiple companies
such as trading card company Fleer in 1992
and spent approximately $700 million on these ventures. Perelman and his management team were
actually able to acquire these increases in sales but was unfortunately through an
unsustainable tactic. When they sold a comic, the first issue came in a
polybag with one of five different trading cards inside. And if kids and collectors wanted to get the remaining 4 of the set,
then they’d have to buy as many issues as they could to find the remainder. But this tactic led in part to Marvel’s financial disaster.
Because of the high costs fans simply quit collecting – a blow for
a blow for Perelman who had not only promised investors more brand extensions
but also more price increases over time.
Not to mention that around 1992 1993 there was a mass
exodus of popular artists including the the very talent that ushered in Marvel’s profits. After their departure, Marvel scrambled and released a number of underwhelming
titles creating the perception among consumers of a declining quality in Marvel comics. With comic retailers witnessing a crisis in confidence in consumers in the market, sales plunged by 70% . One of the acquisitions Perelman and his management team oversaw
was that of ToyBiz owned by Isaac Perlmutter and run by Avi Arad.
ToyBiz was known at the time for having successfully partnered with DC
to introduce a line of toys connected to the Tim Burton’s Batman films
and had produced X-Men and X-Force action figures for Marvel. Ok we’re going to leave this video here
but now we’ve got the key players introduced into the mix. We’re also seeing
how Marvel was being financially irresponsible at the time. Not to mention the fact that
the talents had left, there’s a faulty sales strategy and we’ve got massive
overspending going on. Be sure to subscribe so that you are notified
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