With "Man of Steel," DC Avoids Marvel's Huge "Iron Man 3" Mistake

Wednesday was Free Comic Book Day. Again. And this time, DC cashed in with Man of Steel where Marvel failed to with Iron Man 3, says Fool contributor Tim Beyers in the following video.

How so? The Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) subsidiary gave away free copies of "All-Star Superman #1 Special Edition" to anyone visiting their local comics shop on June 12 -- two days before the premiere of Man of Steel in U.S. theaters.

It's a notable choice. First published in 2005, "All -Star Superman" is an Eisner-award-winning comic book series from writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely. Circumstantial evidence suggests that director Zack Snyder drew inspiration from the tale in making Man of Steel. Warner's reissuing of the source material ahead of the film is exceedingly smart marketing. Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) executives should be taking notes.

Instead of publishing a film tie-in, Marvel chose Iron Man 3's opening weekend to highlight a new comic book series -- "Infinity" -- starring the villain Thanos, whose surprise appearance in last year's hit, Marvel's The Avengers, thrilled fans as it kicked off speculation about cinematic adventures to come. Good thing Robert Downey Jr. was on board to wow audiences as Iron Man's alter ego, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark.

Warner isn't taking any chances. Nor should it, Tim says. The stakes are too high. If enough people go see Man of Steel this weekend and throughout its run in theaters, it'll tee up a whole series of new DC films leading up to 2015's Justice League. A triumph worthy of the comic books, in other words.

Did you indulge in DC's "Man of Steel Day" at your local comics shop? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take, and then let us know whether you plan to see Man of Steel this weekend and what you think of Time Warner stock at current prices.

A hero for your portfolio?
The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock right now. Find out more in the special free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." Just click here to get your copy and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.


Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2013, at 7:31 PM, QuinnDEskimo wrote:

    There is no logic to this article.The Iron Man franchise is already well established,as opposed to the Superman reboot. Marvel/Disney,apparently being wellllllll ahead of the write of this article,choose instead to lay the groundwork for Guardians of the Galaxy and/or Avengers 2 by keep Thanos on the minds of the public. Disney should take notes? Please.Did you buy stock in betamax back in the day?

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2013, at 8:21 PM, tphillips47 wrote:

    Actually, there *is* an Iron Man 3 comic tie in, so I'm not sure where you got your information from. They had a showing that gave away the comic for free a few weeks after the movie opened. Which got me to return for my 3rd viewing of the movie.

    Basic research....

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2013, at 10:21 PM, CatSpringer wrote:

    Yep. That'll make all the difference in the box office, you betcha. Free Comic Book Day. Let the Marvel Studios layoffs commence. (Now see, if they'd had FCBD with the release of "Green Lantern"...)

  • Report this Comment On June 15, 2013, at 8:46 AM, AcuraT wrote:

    Oh yes, Disney-Marvel made a huge mistake - they only have made $949 million so far in the theatre globally. Add in DVD sales and on-line streaming revenue still to come, and it is a $1 billion film. What a huge mistake!

    Now DC on the other hand, with no franchise - skipping this even would have been a huge mistake. If the film is any good, they have a chance for a franchise with Warner Brothers as well. However, early reviews have not been so great so only time will tell if DC has a franchise starting out or another "Batman" disaster (which failed to launch anything for DC so far).

  • Report this Comment On June 15, 2013, at 10:05 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @QuinnDEskimo,

    Thanks for writing.

    >>Marvel/Disney,apparently being wellllllll ahead of the write of this article,choose instead to lay the groundwork for Guardians of the Galaxy and/or Avengers 2 by keep Thanos on the minds of the public

    Except that doesn't make sense. The "public" doesn't frequent comic book stores. Fans do. And to a lesser extent, seekers (i.e., 'hey, I saw this movie, I wonder what the comics are like?').

    The problem, as I see it, is Marvel's long history of screwing retailers by failing to produce tie-in comics.

    We know movies impact sales. Look at the data from ComicChron. In April, "Iron Man" 8 sold 44,000 copies. The next month, sales of issue 9 jumped to 78,000 on interest in "Iron Man 3." Issue 10 sales dropped right back down to 45,000.

    What do you want to bet June sales will end down again? Marvel could be using movies and tie-in promotions to entice and engage new readers. So far, it isn't.

    FWIW and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On June 15, 2013, at 10:06 AM, austinfeigin wrote:

    Saw both Iron Man 3 and Superman last night--middle ages knuckle-head that I am. Iron Man was very entertaining--Superman was a bore. No characters to involve you. Even if Tony Stark were not Iron Man--he'd be interesting. Superman had a stellar cast--but the BLAH script made no demands on them. I predict this will be the summer's great failure. On your mark. Get set! Put!!!

  • Report this Comment On June 15, 2013, at 10:16 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @tphillips47,

    Thanks for writing.

    >>Actually, there *is* an Iron Man 3 comic tie in, so I'm not sure where you got your information from. They had a showing that gave away the comic for free a few weeks after the movie opened. Which got me to return for my 3rd viewing of the movie. Basic research....

    There is a hardcover prelude that Marvel sold in shops. You know how many? 1,200. Another single-issue prelude sold for $2.99 in March. Retailers ordered 6,800. Marvel also gave away digital copies to those who could find it at comiXology.

    I'm glad to see your local theater was smart enough to run a promo, probably in concert with a local comics shop. Marvel's marketing deserves zero credit for your pick-up.

    Instead, these "preludes" -- which were nowhere to be found on Free Comic Book Day and "Iron Man 3's" opening weekend -- smack of a poor attempt at opportunism.

    I'm still a big believer in Disney. But in this one area, DC is miles ahead of its rival -- probably because print sales are dropping amid fading glow of the "New 52" reboot.

    Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On June 15, 2013, at 10:23 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @CatSpringer,

    You've misread the piece. The movies are doing great. Failing to capitalize on that succes for the publishing business is a huge mistake, I think, and it's one we've seen Marvel repeat over and over.

    DC, not as much.

    Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2487305, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/1/2014 8:59:50 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement