It's been a busy week for comics king Marvel Enterprises (NYSE: MVL ) . As if the disappointment over Elektra's decidedly non-electrifying opening weren't enough, the company had to contend with a decision in a long-standing lawsuit that forces it to pay Spider-Man creator Stan Lee "10% of any profit participation or benefit it receives from movies, television, or other ancillary uses of Mr. Lee's characters, including certain merchandising." Marvel is appealing the ruling.
It's not all black and blue for Marvel, though. David Gardner interviewed the company's vice chairman, Peter Cuneo, on Tuesday (prior to the Stan Lee announcement) for the Motley Fool Radio Show on NPR. The interview will air on NPR stations across the country this weekend.
While Elektra was an early topic of conversation, Cuneo expressed optimism about Marvel's potential summer blockbuster, Fantastic Four. When asked whether he wanted to give any predictions for Fantastic Four, Cuneo responded, "No, I won't do that at this point, but I will simply say this is one of our A-list groups. Fantastic Four has a wide demographic appeal. It's a family film, and it's both a drama and a comedy. We have had tremendous reaction from licensees and from retailers so that we are very optimistic about our toy lines and our other consumer product lines. We are also getting some outstanding promotional partners. I'm not free to discuss who specifically, but you would know who they are, and we are very, very optimistic. Fantastic Four, you know, has the second highest Q-score in all of the Marvel library. Only Spider-Man has a higher Q-score. A Q-score is a measure of the popularity of a particular character or a celebrity."
Want to hear the rest of the interview with Peter Cuneo? Tune into Fool Radio this weekend for more -- you can find your local station by checking out NPR's website. And come back to Fool.com all of next week, when we'll be running a transcript of the interview.
David Gardner initially recommended Marvel in the July 2002 issue ofMotley Fool Stock Advisor.Since then, shares have risen 405.67% versus the S&P 500's 13.86% gain.