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Fox's Comic Book Movies Aren't Out-Earning Marvel Studios ... Yet

By Tim Beyers – May 28, 2014 at 10:43AM

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Quietly, Twenty-First Century Fox is recruiting an impressive roster of comic book movie directors and producers.

Although X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer is getting the headlines -- both good and bad -- fellow director Matthew Vaughn may be the key to helping Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) build a comic book movie empire that rivals what we're seeing from Marvel Studios. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains why in the following video.

Vaughn's record isn't as high-profile as Singer's, though that may change soon enough. He's teaming with Fox consultant and comic book writer Mark Millar on at least two adaptations: Superior, which is in development, and Kingsman: The Secret Service, which arrives this fall.

Last week, Fox released the first trailer for Kingsman and it's already drawing interest. More than 1.6 million have tuned in via YouTube, a decent number for a relatively unknown property. History says to expect more buzz soon enough; Vaughn's specialty is turning unknowns into winners. Think of 2010's Kick-Ass, which earned more than $97 million worldwide on a $28 million production budget. Why not make Vaughn a more permanent part of Fox's comic book movie development team?

We've seen rival studios take similar steps. Sony (SONY 1.66%) has its own "brain trust" handling its Spider-Man universe of films. Over at Walt Disney (DIS -0.15%), Kevin Feige has Joss Whedon running point on Marvel Studios' most important properties. At Time Warner (TWX), Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer are handling the key elements of the DC Universe.

Singer could assume a similar role for Fox if accusations against him are proven untrue. And yet his availability (or lack thereof) should not be a determining factor in Fox signing Vaughn to a multi-picture deal. This is the franchise era, after all, and every studio needs talent with the interest and track record for making quality genre movies. Vaughn is the rare writer-director who possesses both qualities.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. How well do you think Fox is handling its comic book movie properties? Would having more of Vaughn's time aid in the effort? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Fox stock at current prices.

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Time Warner and Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. We Fools may not 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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