In 2009, Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment for more than 4 billion dollars. Although it seems like a lot of money, this investment has proved quite successful, since the films have raised more than $ 20 billion in just 11 years.
However, the possibility of Disney buying the comic company might have occurred long before 2009, but executives considered Marvel to be “too nervous.”
In the book The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons learned from 15 years as CEO of Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger recounts a time when Michael Eisner, his predecessor as CEO, opted for the idea that Disney acquired the giant of comics.
As Bob Iger tells it, this idea was not very well received at the beginning.
“This was not the first time Marvel was on the Disney radar,” Bob Iger recalls. “At the beginning of my time working for Michael, I attended a lunch for the staff in which he raised the idea of acquiring them. A handful of executives around the table opposed. “Marvel was too nervous,” they said. It would stain the Disney brand. ”
He continues: “There was an assumption at that time, internally and among the board members, that Disney was a unique and monolithic brand, and that all our businesses existed under Disney’s umbrella. I felt that Michael knew what he was doing, but any negative reaction to the brand, or suggestion that it was not being handled well, seemed to affect us a lot. ”
Of course, executives would change their tone later. Eisner resigned as CEO in 2005 and at that time Bob Iger took his place. Marvel Studios launched the Cinematic Universe in 2008 with Iron Man, quickly followed by The Incredible Hulk. At that time they partnered with Paramount Pictures, but the entertainment giant acquired Marvel a year later and the story of what happened after we already know it all.