Marvel Comics started life in the late 1930’s as a publisher of comic books which had a string of superheroes including Spiderman, Captain America and Ironman… to name but a few.
Who would have thought that it would spawn a billion dollar turnover business – Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Some 70 years later it is one of the largest film franchises ever. This is particularly remarkable bearing in mind that only 15 years ago it was on the brink of bankruptcy.
But the entertainment industry has always been tough. Tastes change, sometimes driven by technology. In the early years of cinema, many film stars struggled to make the transition from silent films to “talkies”. Funding for films, opera and stage shows has always been a challenge to find. Financial supporters could often more realistically be described as benefactors rather than investors.
It’s a fickle industry and even long established giants such as MGM (established in 1924) have been amongst the casualties – it went bust in 2010. New technologies come and go – the advent of television, then colour television, 3D, surround sound, blu ray, etc. The challenges caused by pirate videos and then DVDs and downloading from the internet.
But Marvel have found a successful formula which is paying dividends. Let’s hope this is a long-term accomplishment and that they don’t find themselves needing the services of a superhero to turnaround and salvage their business.