Come Monday, Steven Mallas will break down the film's critical opening-weekend numbers. It's been a dud of a year for theater operators; 2005's top dozen films thus far have come in 25% below their 2004 counterparts.
That's not necessarily bad news for the content providers. They'll make it up later in DVD sales and revenue-sharing rental deals. My bigger concern here, from Marvel's perspective, is that another poor showing by a Marvel-licensed film on the heels of The Punisher and Elektra's disappointing runs may make Marvel less attractive as a licensing partner with the major studios.
I voiced my skepticism last month. A few days later, Lawrence Meyers countered with a more upbeat outlook on the company. Marvel is a popular company to many of our fellow Fools; the stock has risen by 471% since we first singled it out for Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscribers three summers ago. The company was also the subject of the very first special report distributed to members of our Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service in 2004.
It's not just Marvel banking that F4 will be a big summer blockbuster. If the movie isn't a hit, News Corp.'s
The fisticuffs are starting to fly for Marvel on and off the screen. That the battle happens to involve the two studios responsible for Marvel's most popular movies -- well, that's simply a bonus. Tune in. And, please, pass the popcorn.
Four fantastic bits of related Foolishness:
- Marvel's run may be threatened in the short term.
- The long-term outlook still looms bright.
- Bone up on Motley Fool Stock Advisor.
- Get cracking on a free trial to our Rule Breakers newsletter service.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz hopes that his secret power isn't a knack for deflating hope. He does own shares in Pixar.The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.