Monday, August 31, 2009

An Example of Media Concentration

The big news to me today is that Disney is purchasing Marvel Entertainment, the comics company that owns Spider-Man, X-Men, The Hulk, Fantastic Four, etc. Being that we've discussed media concentration and consolidation, what are some things you expect to happen to Marvel due to the buyout? What new opportunities or threats do you believe Marvel faces.

This also brings up another question. In the last decade we have seen a resurgence in superheroes. Every year there are a few big superhero movies released. "Heroes" is a top rated show on NBC. What is the appeal of the superhero genre and why do you think it has recently gained so much interest?

Also, please sign the end of your posts with your name. We have several in class that share first names.

20 comments:

Victoria said...

This buyout is a prime example of what authors Dennis and Merrill debate about. Disney is a HUGE company in itself. If I am not mistaken, Disney bought out Pixar not too many years ago as well. Disney is really narrowing down their competition. They now stand to gain all profits from Marvel. I wonder if Marvel's movies will start to look more similar to Disney's. I would hope not. We need the variety. Really, when it comes down to it, many of us probably don't care who the money is going to, we just care about how good the movie is. As long as the movie quality of Marvel stays "Marvel" then people probably won't take notice to the change in hands. I doubt, however, that even though the concept of larger production is cheaper so the company can produce a more affordable product for the consumer, we will not see lowered ticket sales. If anything, ticket sales will probably grow higher due to the fact that Disney is becoming more and more of a monopoly in the media industry. The savings in cost of production will turn into higher profits that will go straight into the bigwigs' pockets, not extended to the consumer. It's all about greed.

I absolutely love superhero movies. I don't know why. I suppose it's that it can't be real, but for that couple hours we can imagine that it is. Maybe it's almost an escape from reality, from the dreary everyday grind of work and school especially with the gloom and doom of the economy. The movies and tv shows give us something to look forward to in our weeks, as sad as that may seem.

~Victoria L. Carr

Alexis K. Ellis said...

I do not know much about comics, but as far as media concentration is concerned I think that Marvel will not have as much autonomy about how they create their comic books because of the buyout. I think that because of the new company taking over they may not have as much freedom to do the things they would normally do. I think the appeal of superheroes because my favorite is Catwoman played by Halle Berry, however, the appeal of superheroes and comics is being able to escape everyday reality and the humdrum of daily routines to transform into the life of this superhuman character; who may have strength you wish you could tap into within yourself. Personally, I hope the buyout will not alter the creative process of the people who run Marvel Comics because for those who love to analyze comics, and who make the comics possible, I think it will shatter the way they make thier living, and hinder their passion. I do not think that big media companies should not want to concentrate or take over small media companies because small media companies exhibit so much passion with their creations, especially those I like who have articles on the web and in print. I think the big media conglomerates when they concentrate small media companies of the world they spoil all the fun working!

-Alexis K. Ellis

Alexis K. Ellis said...

Response to Victoria Carr:

I totally agree with you Victoria because I think that the big companies who have all the power, and monopoly only want more. I think that as for Disney, so many of the movies that are made now with Pixar seem the same to me. I have not totally analyzed it, but from the advertisements they seem the same storyline in a way. I think that it all comes down to money.

The appeal of superheroes is an escape from reality because I think that we want to feel like there is more to our lives, but I find pleasure in writing, and doing online work from home, so I guess we can find something in our reality that brings out passion and strength, just like the superheroes do.

-Alexis K. Ellis

Dianna Majors said...

I personally think the buyout has the potential to prove very lucrative for Marvel. Both Disney and Marvel are successful companies within the highly competitive field of entertainment production. Over time, Disney, like many other major entertainment corporations, has accumulated several other facets of this industry including studios, record labels, and other multimedia assets. History has shown that not only has the Disney corporation grown exponentially as a result of these buyouts, but much of the media bought by them thrived under the Disney name Whereas, for example, a company such as Pixar may not have made it in this industry on their own. It is true that there has been a narrowing of individual studios over time, but this is just the result of smart business for the many entertainment companies assimilating smaller ones. I do, therefore, respectfully disagree with statement that Disney is a monopoly. They are a thriving business within their industry, and if anything their existence and success benefits consumers. When a company like Disney does well other companies have to step up their business, in this case entertainment, to compete and profit.
For all the existing Marvel fans I think this is case. Disney has many resources Marvel alone did not, and, as a result, Marvel now has more possibilities for movie making then before. They also can benefit from the multimedia outlets Disney has to offer to market their products. The only possible threat to the Marvel company I can foresee is the pressure to continue being profitable. Since they are now answering to higher powers with the ability to expand or cut the productions by Marvel, it is possible that like with many music artist we see today this may result in them "selling out" to make more money rather than keeping to the principles the company began upon.

As far as the recent resurgence in superheros thriving in today's entertainment I agree with Victoria and Alexis that it comes from a kind of escapism fantasy. The concept of there being one super person that can fix and save everything is a timeless idea. However, the world we are in today is seeing more crises and need than the previous era we were in. This era is much like the different times throughout history when many of the Marvel characters were created. So, today the fantasy of having someone to get us out of this mess is much more appealing than it may have been a decade ago.

Alexis K. Ellis said...

Dianna,
I agree that superheroes are need in today's failing economic times, and I think that the reality we live in affords a vacation sometimes.

I do think you are right that Marvel will maybe "sellout" because of the buyout from Disney, and not make the kind of comics they are used to making. I do think it will profitable though for Disney and Marvel to join forces, and many young people as well as old people will enjoy the new creations. I just hope Marvel does not lose its passion for comics.

-Alexis K. Ellis

Sherry Osborn said...

Yes, Disney is buying comic-book giant Marvel Enterprises for $4 billion. According to insiders the deal is for Disney to strengthen its appeal to young men.
I believe that it will expand Disney's traditional audience by the addition of the potential audience by leaps and bounds. Also, this will be a great way for Disney to reinvent themselves in the comic-book world. This will be a positive for Disney and the possibilities are endless.

Sherry Osborn said...

Yes, Disney is buying comic-book giant Marvel Enterprises for $4 billion. According to insiders the deal is for Disney to strengthen its appeal to young men.
I believe that it will expand Disney's traditional audience by the addition of the potential audience by leaps and bounds. Also, this will be a great way for Disney to reinvent themselves in the comic-book world. This will be a positive for Disney and the possibilities are endless.

Sherry Osborn

Sherry Osborn said...

Sorry about the double post.

Mark said...

The purchase of Marvel by Disney was just another way for Disney to expand its reach. Disney like most entertainment companies will continue making all their films according to a formula that has proven successful and will do the same with Marvel. When those formulas stop producing dollars they will be changed. The unfourtunate thing with this is that it kills new ideas and creativity.
As far as superheros go I really don't think they have ever gone away they just continue to reinvent themselves in different medias and personalities that reflect the current consumer view.

Jemmye said...

Disney buying Marvel did not surprise me at all. Disney owns so many huge companies that people don't even realize such as ESPN, ABC Studios, Soapnet, and Touchstone Pictures just to name a few, so buying Marvel was just another way to dominate the market. This move can benefit both companies if executed properly, because Disney has the power and Marvel has the ideas that the viewers want to see. I think if Disney tries to change the concept most people except from Marvel then money will be lost, in my opinion, its best they keep the same ideas and expand the market. This merger should be a very interesting one to watch over the next few both to see the direction Disney takes, but I it will be beneficial for both companies.
I agree with the majority of the post before me. In history, when times are bad(whether in the economy or with war issues) people look for an escape, and superhero movies provide this.

gina said...

The buyout of Marvel is upsetting to a lot of the big comic book readers. The thought of Disney now controlling the heroes and villans of Marvel is scary to some because Disney has always been known for its sweet, loving characters. Obviously, getting offered $4 billion is a hard deal to turn down. Disney is the only company that could have made an offer like that to buy Marvel out. Once again, the surprise is that Marvel did actually sell out. I agree with all of the previous posts about Disney just wanting to narrow down their competition and control everything. Disney is such a well known company that this could actually make Marvel characters more popular. The first thing I thought of when I heard about this was the rides at Universal and Disney World. They are big rivals and all of the Marvel character rides are at Universal. I wonder if now they will have to be moved? That was a big plus for Universal was all of the rides and that could hurt them if they do have to get rid of the rides. The buyout could be a positive and a negative at the same time. We will just have to wait and see.

As far as super heroes recently gaining so much interest, I agree with the above posts as well. I think that super heroes have gained so much interest lately because there hasnt been a lot of positive things happening lately. The economy being the biggest problem. This probably causes a lot of unwanted stress for families. Watching super heroes on television and on the big screen is a good way for kids to get away from reality for a little while. It gives them hope and something good to think about. The crime rate has also increased over the past few years and it is nice to think that there could be someone out there that can help. Super hero movies are usually fast paced and action packed. This is something that most viewers like to see. It keeps them entertained and on the edge of their seat. There are also a lot of television shows about superheroes and if they are staying on the air obviously they are very popular.

- Mary (Gina) Sharp

Glenda said...

Being of a little older generation, I must say that both Marvel and Disney bring up wonderful memories and experiences. I agree with some of you in that if anyone had to buy Marvel, Disney is a good choice. If this buyout is properly executed, giving Marvel the rights to keep the characters to true form, this could easily be a very successful venture. The main thing that really grabs at me is that Disney is growing exponentially just so it can cut down on the competition. There is potentially a lot of negative connotation with this. Disney and Marvel each have their own very specific charactors and happenings, but they are different in their emotion. I love them both and like someone, I wonder what is will do for the Universal Studies? The good thing is that both companies explore the fantasy in each of us, even if for 1 1/2 hours.

David Camp said...

I would say Disney has been doing its homework. Warner Brothers has been making great movies and revenues with its DC comics, so maybe we can look forward to Disney making more movies with the Marvel team. Disney has always had top-notch marketing so I think whatever they do it will be a good thing. Marvel can hopefully look forward to a bigger following. Disney already has a huge female audience, so maybe they can get more comics and female superheroes to them and also younger children in general. Disney can earn even more revenue with rides and other park themes based on Marvel characters. I personally would like to see Transformers the ride come to life. I am not sure if Disney will want to change any of the characters or tone them down any, The Punisher may have to play nicer.

I think the biggest appeal is, the idea of people fighting to help other people. Some of these superheros somehow gain superhero status when they are crime fighters or vigilantes; however, they still right the wrongs in the world, which appeals to everyone. I really think that they are gaining popularity because they are being remade into movies and good advertising gets people interested. Like anything if the networks keep making TV shows and movies about different heroes, I think people will eventually burn out on watching them. I think the superhero shows and films are just like the reality shows, Hollywood found something that makes money and they are getting all the money they can before we the viewing public move on to the next fad.

David Camp

KamrynsMom said...

Marvel may be subject to many changes during the buyout. I am sure they will negotiate the terms of the buyout, but I am also quite sure that Disney will end up with the more satisfying arrangements. Agreeing with Victoria, I also feel this is a prime example of what Merrill and Dennis were discussing in our Lecture 3. Disney is in fact narrowing down their competition, making it easier for them to compete with other companies, but harder for others. Marvel faces a number of new opportunities, as well as threats. Marvel will gain more viewers based on Disney's fan base, but they may also in turn lose viewers. Because Disney has become, and is still growing as we can see, such a monopoly, I think it will not encourage the company to be as creative because with every buyout they are also losing their competitive edge because they feel their competition is dwindling.

The appeal of the superhero genre to me is someone who is in favor of good over evil, an individual with special abilities, someone who can relate to a number of individuals. I think the superhero genre has recently gained such interest because of the state of the economy, and the nation. Right now we seem to be a world divided. Every time I turn on the T.V. someone is speaking upon how bad the economy is and how President Obama's plans are not helping the nation. We are in need of a superhero to rescue our nation. At the end of the day we all are going to have to learn to pull together and stop bashing each other. Who knows President Obama might just be the next superhero because anyone who can turn this economy out of the state that its been headed towards for a long time, I would say they are in fact a superhero.

Mary said...

Disney buying marvel may seem like a good thing. I’m not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing. I know that Disney makes mostly kid movies. Their movies don’t have that much violence in them. Superhero movies have a lot of violence and bad language in them. Disney buying marvel will get Disney more viewers. Marvel will lose some viewers. Superhero movies may be changed because of Disney buying marvel out. Disney buying Marvel may help more kids want to read the comic books.
Superheroes are becoming more popular now days. They let people get away from reality for a little while. Superheroes lets people see what life met be like when you have super powers. I like superhero movies and so does my son.
Mary Thomas

Sherry Osborn said...

Here is something interesting that I found in the media on the internet that I believe no students had thought about. This is a direct quote... "It will also rattle the theme park landscape and could ultimately shape the fate of Universal Orlando Resort and eventually Busch Gardens in Tampa.
Here is the link to the website that I think everyone should check out.
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/aug/31/311418/disney-buy-comic-book-powerhouse-marvel-4-billion/news-breaking/

Sherry Osborn

Crystal said...

I believe disney disney that the buyout of Marvel by Disney is a way for Disney to open new sections in it's theme parks. This is another way for Disney to market itself using well known characters and attract customers it may not have had before. Big businesses that can absorb other business for the prupose of expanding are not necessarily going to dismantle the absorbed business. In this case, I would hope that Disney will simply be profitting from an already well-known and trusted brand.

I believe that today's society is so interested in the super-hero genre because it is searching for something better than itself. Super-heroes can be viewed as 'saviors'. In this day and age, what society needs most is indeed a savior.

Crystal said...

sorry--previous post is by Crystal Sloan

Michael said...

Disney made another aggressive move by acquiring Marvel Entertainment. It is a historical trend for Disney to purchase any competitors or potential money maker. I think that Marvel will continue to put out the big super hero movies because it has the library of characters to do so. Disney will have the freedom to do their "magic" with these characters to promote them to get the most out of this monumental buyout. Disney can utilize all of these characters in addition to their many products.

Superheroes are instilled into us as children. We view these characters not only as a source of entertainment but as somewhat of a "fictional" savior. I have many friends who literally know all of the characters by heart. Every time a new preview of a superhero movie materializes, they seem to have a connection with that character from years back. It's simply a staple for many in the United States and other parts of the world.

Michael Jared Koon

anj41 said...

The buyout could be a good thing and a bad thing. As someone else mentioned, the autonomy that Marvel once had I am sure will not be present as much. There will be changes made, and those changes will be made so that I bigger profit can be realized. More money may be better for some people, however, I hope that the creative element of all things Marvel will not be washed out as a result of the changes.

I think that the superhero genre is appealing because of the fact that superhero movies have a little bit of something for everyone. When I am watching television I know that I may prefer to watch a certain thing whereas my husband may want to watch somthing else, and our son may want to watch his favorite channel as well. When we all sit down together as a family, there is something that we all may find appealing about watching a superhero film or television program: there is action, there is fantasy, and there are interesting plots.

Ashley Johnson