“Captain Marvel” is one of the most litigated fictional names in history:
a) In the early 1940’s, DC sues Fawcett over the character Captain Marvel (known in 2023 as Shazam or the Captain). The lawsuit drags on until comics’ giant WWII profits are a thing of the past. Fawcett folds in the 1950’s
b) MF Enterprises creates a character named Captain Marvel in 1966. The character is a combination of Fawcett’s Captain Marvel and The Detachable Kid
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Timely Comics is now Marvel Comics. Feeling that the second-rate MF Enterprises version is tarnishing their company name, they soon publish their own Captain Marvel. MF sues Marvel. Marvel settles the case by paying MF a few thousand for the rights to the name Captain Marvel
c) DC licenses the Fawcett Captain Marvel. They title their first issue “Shazam” under which they declare “the original Captain Marvel”. Marvel sends DC a cease and desist letter. DC stops using “Captain Marvel” but uses it inside the comic every now and then.
So after pursuing the character to prevent it’s use from tarnishing the company name, the (potentially) biggest flop of 2023 bears the name “Marvels”.
Which company(ies) in this do you view as the bad guy?
What name should Billy Batson’s alter ego go by?
Will there be any lasting damage to Disney in this box office misfire being named “Marvels” or is this just a Flash in the pan?
He should be Captain Thunder.
I like Mark Waid referring to him as the Captain.
Nope. It’s not like Disney needs this to be a success to be profitable. Book a trip to Disneyland or DisneyWorld and apologize to your bank account later. They’re fine.
They definitely needed it to make money in order for their 2023 theatrical releases to show an overall profit, but you’re correct that Disney has many sources of revenue.
That ship has sailed. They needed films like Haunted Mansion to not exist
I have forever viewed DC as the bad guy. Whiz’s Captain Marvel barely compared to Superman, 2 white guys who are strong and can fly similarities end there for me. DC litigating Fawcett into bankruptcy didn’t need to happen.
Disney knew the Marvels wasn’t going to do huge numbers, but it will do numbers good enough to make whatever is next on the slate. Better that the suits have learned their lesson and will leave Kevin Feige alone.
I have never been happy DC sued Fawcett. Also, I have never been happy Marvel got ownership of the Captain Marvel name. Heck, I still call Billy Batson’s alter ego, “Captain Marvel.”
In a just world, whoever did it first should have the copyright. We don’t live in a just world, unfortunately, so these lawsuits exist. I don’t know if I deem any of them a bad guy because i don’t have much knowledge in copyright and intellectual properties, but it does raise an interesting point.
I like the name “Shazam”. It’s concise, easy to remember for casual fans, general audiences and kids. Plus, it must be cathartic to shout out.
Lasting, no. Disney always bounces back. It may need to rethink its strategy and make some company-changing decisions moving forward. Plus, Disney has many other ventures to earn profit such as the theme parks, cruises, Disney Channel, and merchandise.
Temporarily, yes. Stock prices are going to decrease. Profits may be low for a quarter or two. Audiences lose faith in Marvel and Disney.
At this point in time, the Marvels figures to be the biggest money-loser of 2023. It is on course to lose a lot more than Indiana Jones and Killers of the Flower Moon, it’s nearest contenders.
It certainly won’t be the kiss of death for Disney, but if it has to go down as the biggest flop of 2023, that’s going make it’s under-performance more memorable…and with that name, no one will be forgetting which company it came from
Imagine if it waits until now to pull a Greatest Showman.
As of today, The Marvels has already made back production costs and with very little marketing and promotion cost due to the actors strike it could turn a profit by Christmas
Production cost was over $270 million, so even if Disney were keeping every penny of the ticket price, that wouldn’t cover half of the production cost. It can certainly turn a profit by Christmas if people start turning out to see it in droves. But yesterday it earned 87% less than it earned the previous Friday. That’s a sharper decline you generally see, even among movies losing money. The Flash, Blue Beetle and Killers of the Flower Moon didn’t encounter second Friday drop-offs that steep
I think both Marvel and DC rip off each other to some degree. Anyone remember recently of DCs newest flop of a character , " Damage" they did everything but color him green and give him purple shorts to wear.
The lawsuits against each other to me are trivial if not absolutely pointless.
Iron Man - Batman , Thor- Superman, on and on, who copied who first on what and tweeked their character just enough so the other company cant whine and throw a hissy fit in court, I dunno.
at that point of screwing around with a name, it becomes to me more about selling merch with a name on it. imo,
I really don’t like the name Captain Marvel all that much. at least for Billy Batson, who isn’t even in the military, so Shazam makes more sense to me.
Captain Marvel feels like it short for Captain Marvelous.
It has made back around 1/4th of its production cost. Then there was probably around 110M in marketing.
Doing some more research. It appears that I found the lowball number for production cost at 110 million while I have found $325 million as the highest number. I’m not going to get into a balance sheet argument with a Hollywood accountant as that is dumber than a land war in Asia or betting a Sicilian when death is on the line.
The official word is 220M after tax breaks.
That is without the tax break, which brings it down to 220M.
A Captain Marvel example of this popped up in Britain, where they’d been reprinting the original Fawcett Marvel stories. The British company felt that, just because the Fawcett Marvel Family stopped publication in the 1950’s, that didn’t mean their comics had to end. So they just adjusted the names and hair colors of the characters (and the word “Shazam” became “Kimota”) and started producing their own comics with their new creations.
However, when the British resurrected Marvelman in the 1980’s, it became popular enough (since it was written by Alan Moore) to reprint in the States. But now that the reprinting was going from England to the US, Marvel Comics again threw a fit over the fact that the word “Marvel” was contained in the character’s name. And their threats were enough to get Marvelman’s name officially altered to Miracleman.
Don’t go down Marvelman street, that way madness lurks.