Disney’s agreement with Paramount modifies the terms under which the former acquired Marvel Entertainment last year.
Paramount will remain the worldwide distributor of the upcoming films Thor and Captain America, as well as the previously released Iron Man and Iron Man 2 (pictured).
Disney will pay Paramount $115m for the transfer of worldwide distribution and marketing rights on the theatrical release dates as a minimum guarantee against the distribution fees. The Avengers is scheduled for release on May 4, 2012 and Iron Man 3 will open on May 13, 2013.
The Avengers will still be licensed to Epix under Paramount’s existing pay TV arrangement. Paramount will release Marvel Entertainment’s Thor and Captain America worldwide on May 6 and July 22 2011, respectively.
In August 2009 Disney annnounced it had paid $4bn to acquire Marvel Entertainment in a cash and stock transaction. At that time Paramount was planning to release Iron Man 3 and The Avengers.
“In completing this agreement, Disney will now assume worldwide marketing and distribution of The Avengers and Iron Man 3 and leverage these two highly-anticipated films across the multiple global platforms of The Walt Disney Company,” chairman of The Walt Disney Studios Rich Ross said. “We appreciate the tremendous momentum that Paramount established with these iconic Marvel characters and look forward to propelling the brand even further in the coming years.”
“Five years ago, when Paramount and Marvel made our initial deal, both our businesses were in very different places,” Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey said. “We are grateful for the partnership we have had with the terrific Marvel team over these years and proud of the work we have done together.
“Today, this new agreement is the right deal for Paramount, for Marvel and for Disney. We look forward to working together on Thor and Captain America, and we wish Disney and Marvel the utmost success, in what we know will be a very productive and wide-ranging partnership.”
“Paramount has been a wonderful partner in helping Marvel Studios bring our characters to the big screen,” Alan Fine, office of the president at Marvel Worldwide, said. “This agreement makes sense now that Marvel is part of The Walt Disney Company.”