Marvel – Bankruptcy to Billions

Today Marvel is considered the world wide king in Box office collection. Before the release of Infinity war it has The Marvel Cinematic Universe topped $12 Billion in Worldwide Box Office. Decades before Marvel it was a different case.

Way back in 1996, Marvel filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The company was losing money hand-over-fist. Over one-third of Marvel employees were laid off. For a company that had created some of the most iconic and recognized characters the world over, the future seemed bleak.

The 1996 bankruptcy came two years before the first modern Marvel movie, Blade, hit theaters. While most of their other plans failed miserably, Blade was part of an ambitious licensing deal that sold the cinematic rights to properties like X-Men and Spider-Man to studios like 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures for quick cash.

Marvel also auctioned off the film rights to some of its most prized characters. Spider-Man went to Sony, the Hulk went to Paramount and 21st Century Fox bought the rights to Daredevil, the X-Men and Fantastic Four. It is also believed that Marvel offered theatrical rights to almost all of Marvel’s characters for $25 million in 1998. Sony turned down Marvel’s offer Because during that time they were interested only in Spider-man. Blade made $70 million at the U.S. box office, but Marvel only pocketed a shocking $25,000. Because of a flat-fee negotiation, Marvel made nothing off the success of X-Men.

If the Marvel Studios plan failed, they would lose the rights to every single one of those properties. The bank would own them and the plans for a Marvel Cinematic Universe would be dead.

In 2003, a talent agent named David Maisel came to Marvel’s Isaac Perlmutter with a proposal of producing movies under Marvel’s own banner.

when Marvel managed to make a deal with Wall Street firm Merrill Lynch. The details of the deal sounded risky.  if Iron Man was a disaster, they would give up a whole bunch of characters to the backers.All those superheroes would suddenly belong to the bank. I mean the whole Avenger superstars.


But Marvel decided to take the risk and announced that Iron Man would be its first independent production. “Iron Man,” which helped pull Robert Downey Jr. from the depths of a scandal-ridden career, went on to make $318.4 million domestically and $585.2 million worldwide kick starting a cinematic universe that is still only just unfolding.

This is when Marvel transformed itself from a comic-book publisher and toy company into a muscle-flexing independent movie studio. The success of “Iron Man” caught the eye of Disney, which bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009. The acquisition gave Marvel the platform and the pocketbook to chase the audacious multi-superhero, multi-film crossover project that’s coming to fruition.

Starting from scratch in late 2005 with little production infrastructure, its Marvel Studios quickly made three films — two Iron Man movies and a pumped-up The Incredible Hulk that grossed a combined $1.5 billion worldwide.


“The incredible Hulk” movie was able to drop a major Easter egg, teasing an “Avengers” movie with a post-credit cameo from Robert Downey Jr., thus connecting it to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Robert Downey Jr.’s reprise in “Iron Man 2” built off the first movie’s success. The movie brought in $312 million domestically. With the success of Captain america:First avenger and Thor, it was time for team assemble.

Marvel released “Avengers” in 2012 is not only Marvel’s biggest opening at $207 million, but it had the biggest movie opening in cinema history at the time. And over the course of its 22-week life in U.S. theaters, “The Avengers” grossed $632 million. Bringing together nearly every major character from the previous five films, “The Avengers” was the culmination of a plan that no one knew would work.


“Iron Man 3,” on the heels of “The Avengers” success, It eventually cracked $1 billion worldwide. Marvel then produced Sequel of “Captain America” grossing grossing more than $750 million worldwide. “Thor the dark world” bought in more than its predecessor.

Marvel had already accomplished the unthinkable. They experimented with a another unknown super flick “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a rag-tag team of interstellar heroes make up one of Marvel’s lesser-known teams. The film was a surprise hit. The movie grossed $773 million worldwide.

During the year 2015 Marvel’s worldwide box office was around 8.6 billion with “Age of ultron” and continuous success films along with Ant man, Civil war, Doctor strange, Spider man homecoming. “Thor: Ragnarok” in 2017 brought Marvel’s second-highest Rotten Tomatoes score at 92% and the film grossed $853.2 million.

In 2018 Marvel bought almost all of its character starting from Iron man to Guardian of galaxy in third part of Avengers the infinity war. “Avengers: Infinity War” has surpassed the $2 billion mark at the global box office in 48 days of its release in April, 2018.



Today Revenue from Marvel Studios alone is nearly double what Disney paid to buy it

If you want to watch the Avengers End game, you need to watch all the films starting from 2008 Iron Man in below order to fully understand the mix up.

1) Iron man 2008

2) The Incredible Hulk 2008

3)Iron Man 2 2010

4) Thor 2011

5) Captain America: First avenger 2011

6) The Avengers 2012

7) Iron man 3 2013

8) Thor:The Dark world 2013

9) Captain America: Winter Soldier 2014

10) Guardian of galaxy 2014

11) Avengers: Age of ultron 2015

12) Ant man 2015

13) Captain America: Civil war 2016

14) Doctor strange 2016

15)Guardian of galaxy 2 2017

16) Spider man home coming

17) Thor Ragnarok 2017

18) Black panther 2018

19) Avengers: Infinity war 2018

20) Captain Marvel 2019

21) Avengers End game 2019

Story of Marvel is really fascinating and hope it entertains its fans with series of super hero movies in future.

13 thoughts on “Marvel – Bankruptcy to Billions

Add yours

  1. wow you had real passion for all this research! Great info … I’m only just getting into movies as I review a few select ones for the various Oz movie festivals eg documentaries and underground. A whole new world for me 🙂

    How are you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kate.. I like to dig deeper to knw the facts.. Good to knw ur interest..
      I am doing great kate.. just started exploring places again after one and half year long lockdown scenes..

      Liked by 2 people

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