Steve Jobs Led Disney to Buy Marvel Studios:
Disney bought Marvel Studios for $4 Billion. Toys and Merchandizing sales aside, Disney has made $20.5 Billion from the movie earnings itself. Then there are the Marvel TV shows that they’ve produced over the years, which have brought them, even more, profit and success. The MCU is the biggest franchise in Hollywood, and even half of their roster hasn’t been put to use yet. It is just a limitless supply of content that Disney has at its disposal. And the acquisition of Fox furthers their cause. But what made Disney actually want to buy Marvel Studios?
It is just too bad that no one really saw the potential in Marvel characters. Back in the late 90s when Marvel was going bankrupt, they offered Sony to buy the entire Marvel Studios roster for $25 Million. Instead, they bought just Spider-Man and the characters related to him for $10 Million. Well, that was a stupid buy, and the man in charge for Sony even claimed that no one cares about any other Marvel character! Well, Disney clearly proved them wrong, and the man who had a big hand to play in this was Steve Jobs.
Vanity Fair got to speak with Disney Chairman Bob Iger, and big man Iger shed some light upon the late Apple innovator’s role in the decision to buy Marvel. He said:
“In 2009, after our very successful acquisition of Pixar, we were interested in acquiring Marvel, so I met with Steve and walked him through the business. He claimed to have never read a comic book in his life (‘I hate them more than I hate video games,’ he told me), so I brought an encyclopedia of Marvel characters with me to explain the universe to him and show him what we would be buying. He spent about 10 seconds looking at it, then pushed it aside and said, ‘Is this one important to you? Do you really want it? Is it another Pixar?'”
Jobs wasn’t really interested in the characters, but he still helped Iger and Co in a major way. Iger continued:
“When it came to the Marvel question, I told him that I wasn’t sure if it was another Pixar, but they had great talent at the company, and the content was so rich that if we held the IP, it would put some real distance between us and everyone else. I asked him if he’d be willing to reach out to Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s CEO and controlling shareholder, and vouch for me. Later, after we’d closed the deal, Ike told me that he’d still had his doubts and the call from Steve made a big difference. ‘He said you were true to your word,’ Ike said. I was grateful that Steve was willing to do it as a friend, really, more than as the most influential member of our board. Every once in a while, I would say to him, ‘I have to ask you this, you’re our largest shareholder,’ and he would always respond, ‘You can’t think of me as that. That’s insulting. I’m just a good friend.'”
Now, this is a story worth reporting. Disney was right to spot the massive opportunity which even the broken house of Marvel possessed. The performance of Iron Man was probably the reason why Disney actually got so interested. So, that’s how crucial Iron Man has been for Hollywood. Even Avengers: Endgame was able to do the business that it did largely because of Iron Man. So, you’ve gotta Thank Steve Jobs, not just for giving expensive Apple products a go, but actually letting Disney buy and properly use Marvel.
Marvel has been a major driving force for the studio since 2009, and now they’d really put Marvel’s never-ending gallery to even better use on Disney+. The Mouse House is allowing Marvel to make shows that would not have got films, but do guarantee viewership on the streaming service. We’re really excited to see where Disney takes Marvel in the next 10 years.