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That Darn Marvel Contract – What Rights Does Universal and Disney Own

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Joe, May 7, 2016.

  1. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    Reminder there's a GotG scene in the end film of GMR.
     
  2. Nick C.

    Nick C. Staff Member Moderator

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    Quick roundup of everything Disney has tried in Orlando that could be considered "pushing the boundaries" of the Marvel contract:
    • Private Star Lord & Gamora M&G (at DHS and MK)
    • Many different promotional trailers, bus wraps and monorail wraps (all excluding the word "MARVEL")
    • GOTG in GMR end film
    • Baymax M&G at Epcot (area currently being expanded)
    • Doctor Strange 1-month M&G at DHS (11/4/16-12/1/16) - Notably displayed "The Daily Bugle" until the end of the M&G, with a Daredevil reference on the front of the paper mentioning the Nelson & Murdock lawfirm.
    • Baymax in "Happily Ever After"
    • Star Lord and Baby Groot M&G at DHS (M&G expected to stay throughout summer 2017)
    • Doctor Strange and GOTG in "Disney Movie Magic" at DHS
    • Store in Disney Springs name changed from "Super Hero Headquarters" to "MARVEL Super Hero Headquarters"
     
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  3. WAJAS98

    WAJAS98 Veteran Member

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    Don't forget the store at Disney Springs. It went from generic superhero to specifically Marvel.
     
  4. Nick C.

    Nick C. Staff Member Moderator

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    I'll add it in as far as things that have changed, but I wouldn't consider that to be much skin off Universal's back, nor would there be a case. It's not in a theme park and per the contract, Disney is allowed to sell Marvel merchandise.
     
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  5. freshliciousflower

    freshliciousflower Newcomer

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    I noticed that during my trip to Orlando this week, and was surprised that the store now said "Marvel Super Hero Headquarters" rather than "Super Hero Headquarters".

    Also, my brother told me that he has a feeling that Universal might be closing the Hulk roller coaster soon. I don't know if that's valid or where he heard it from, seeing as they just refurbished it a year ago. Maybe with the store having Marvel in the name now, this means that Universal's contract might be terminated within a few years?
     
  6. JungleSkip

    JungleSkip Premium Member

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    Universal isn't giving up a profitable contract. No way, no how. They may have come to some sort of agreement on some points, but Marvel isn't leaving IoA
     
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  7. GadgetGuru

    GadgetGuru Veteran Member

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    For better or worse, we'll probably never know the true status of the contract. Disney + Universal aren't going to hold a joint press conference and announce the status of the Marvel contract. Disney will (maybe) slowly open Marvel rides, Universal will do some stuff, and we'll just have to ponder
     
  8. scott_walker

    scott_walker Premium Member

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    I'd highly recommend you read the article at the start of this post:

    That Darn Marvel Contract – What Rights Does Universal and Disney Own – Orlando United
     
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  9. JungleSkip

    JungleSkip Premium Member

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    You'll know they came to an agreement if (which I doubt) Guardians comes to EPCOT and Iron Man/Avengers comes to IoA
     
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  10. GadgetGuru

    GadgetGuru Veteran Member

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  11. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    They have been made public in the past.
     
  12. GadgetGuru

    GadgetGuru Veteran Member

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    Welp, then I just don't know anything. Thanks Joe and all!
     
  13. Ultranel

    Ultranel Rookie

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    I just don't get what's the issue is here. I don't feel sorry for Disney at all. The whole world (including the WDC) knew there was a theme land called MSHI at Universal Orlando Resort. Most likely this will ring a bell to most rational humans that there is some type of contract between Marvel and Universal, right? Regardless of that detail, WDC went ahead and bought Marvel, and now WDC is trying to bring Marvel to Orlando? AH!, NO! that's against the law, WTF is wrong with you? and we all know WDC bought Lucas and Marvel (already WELL established brands) just to squeeze money out of the IP and get credit for the hard work of Lucas and Lee. So WDC knock yourself out with Marvel everywhere else but Central FL, in Orlando Marvel is Universal.... and you knew this waaaaaaaaayyyyyyy before you even thought about buying it. Have some dignity for once and follow rules.
     
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  14. Latveria

    Latveria Member

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    Bill Davis is that you? Marvel is coming to WDW and soon starting with Guardians being the tip of the iceberg.
     
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  15. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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    Wanna discuss the merits of the Guardians rumor - sure.

    Other than that, Marvel ain't coming.
     
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  16. Alexshow

    Alexshow Veteran Member

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    At this point, if Guardians even happens for Epcot; I would ask how would they handle the lack of marketing.
     
  17. Ryan

    Ryan Staff Member Moderator

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    If Disney indeed hashed out a deal with Universal's lawyers about the use of Guardians, I'm going to guess that marketing is covered in the deal. Most likely the only stipulation would be that the Marvel name can't appear on it at all -- which is fine, given that GotG is a franchise that doesn't need specificed Marvel branding to back it up.
     
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  18. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    Bump this thread on D23 day.

    If a GotG attraction is announced there's a few explanations besides "Universal sold the rights back to Disney."

    1. Disney and Universal came to an agreement to let Disney use some characters in Orlando. This can be an amendment or gentlemen's agreement.
    2. Disney believes they can use a set of characters and is proceeding anyway. A tell here will be an odd choice of characters in the attraction (villains only, certain heroes, etc)
    3. Disney is forcing a legal battle with Universal with the goal to void the contract.
     
  19. zg44

    zg44 Rookie

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    I think on that 3rd one you mean "narrow" the contract. There's no mechanism to one-sidedly void this kind of contract (no judge will grant that kind of relief), but if Universal isn't allowing them to do something, they can push the contract limits and then see if Universal is willing to sue.

    In the past, it appears Universal's been unwilling to litigate any kinds of limits on Marvel in Disney's Orlando properties (as we can note that Disney has tried to push around the edges before), but a more brazen GotG attraction may rise to the level of Universal needing to push back with a lawsuit. (Or the whole thing has been settled privately as you state in #1).

    The reality of this whole situation is that it's much like Marvel's contracts with Fox and Sony for movie rights; these rights are too valuable to ever be sold back unless there's some kind of distress situation at Fox/Sony and money becomes so important that the rights are sold back.

    That's where the Marvel Orlando theme park rights are right now; Universal will not sell them back (unless distressed) because the cost of the rights are next to nothing compared to their value (provides a strong IP to IoA and defensive mechanism against Disney's parks from gaining that IP).
     
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  20. jseal777

    jseal777 Rookie

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    I wanna see a facelift at MSHI. If it takes a lawyer deathmatch that's fine with me.
     
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