1-Up on Wall Street: Why "Guardians of the Galaxy" May Be a Hit, Even by Marvel Standards

Three Fools take to the air to discuss the prospects for the riskiest film bet in Marvel Studios history.

Mar 2, 2014 at 3:30PM

For as much positive reaction as we've seen to the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, the movie still ranks as one of the riskiest in Marvel Studios history. How much does parent Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) have to lose? Host Ellen Bowman puts the question to analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of "1-Up on Wall Street," The Motley Fool's Web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

A lack of meaningful comparisons might be troubling to some, Nathan says. Especially since DIsney's most recent attempt at a large-scale space opera (i.e., John Carter) flopped at the box office, resulting in $200 million in studio writedowns. Guardians may not have enough brand equity to avoid a similar fate.


Marvel's aggressive marketing promises a space epic that's as pleasing as the superhero films that preceded it. Source: Marvel Studios.

The good news? What Guardians lacks in brand equity, Marvel has in spades. The studio is already tapping that well by marketing the film as from "the studio that brought you Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers." So long as the film delivers a similar sensibility -- the sort of action-comedy blend fans have come to love -- Nathan sees the bet paying off.

Tim agrees, noting that Marvel has already spent the better part of a year getting fans engaged with the characters via a new comic book series written by Brian Michael Bendis. The tone of the trailer will feel familiar to readers of the comics, he says.

Meanwhile, the trailer itself appears to have struck a chord with 13.8 million views over the past two weeks. Guardians was also a social media hit with more than 88,000 mentions in the first 12 hours of release, noticeably more than the 75,000 Man of Steel achieved in its first 24 hours on the Internet. Billboard also reports a big increase in sales of Blue Swede's 1974 hit, "Hooked on a Feeling," which provided backing for the trailer. Add it up, Tim says, and there's every reason to believe Guardians has the potential to be a Marvel-sized winner.

Now it's your turn to weigh in using the comments box below. Do you expect Guardians of the Galaxy to be a hit? Please watch the video as Ellen puts Tim and Nathan on the spot, and be sure to check back here often for more "1-Up on Wall Street" segments.

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Ellen Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Nathan Alderman owns shares of Apple. Tim Beyers owns shares of Apple, Google, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple, Google, Netflix, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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