New TV Series Part of Marvel's Aggressive Strategy
To Maximize Exposure For Its Characters Worldwide
Los Angeles, CA, March, 2006 – Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with the Cartoon Network through which the broadcaster has obtained the exclusive domestic television rights to Marvel's highly-anticipated, all-new animated series based on the ever-popular Fantastic Four Super Hero franchise. Cartoon Network will debut the series in Fall 2006. The announcement was made by Michael Helfant, President/COO of Marvel Studios, and Terry Kalagian, Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, of Cartoon Network.
Co-produced by Marvel Studios and Moonscoop -- the award-winning, cutting-edge animation company behind such series as the Cartoon Network hit Code Lyoko – the Fantastic Four series combines a dynamic mix of 2D and 3D animation. Based upon the original Marvel characters and classic storylines, this new series follows the high-energy adventures of one of the comic book world's most prominent crime-fighting teams -- Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman, The Human Torch and The Thing – as they battle villains and their ultimate rival, Dr. Doom. Avi Arad is executive producer of the series, and Eric Rollman, EVP, Home Entertainment & Television Production, and Craig Kyle, VP Creative Development, Animation, are the production executives for Marvel.
Last summer, the live action Fantastic Four feature film scorched the box office and became a blockbuster movie event – grossing more than $330 million worldwide and sparking the development of a sequel planned for summer 2007.
The initial season broadcast commitment for the animated series on Cartoon Network is 26 half-hour episodes. The domestic deal now makes Cartoon Network the global home for the Fantastic Four animated series. Late last year, the broadcaster struck a deal with Moonscoop to carry the series in all territories outside the U.S.
"Cartoon Network is the perfect home for the Fantastic Four. The network has established itself as one of the top providers of high-quality animation entertainment. Their commitment to this series will further Marvel's mission to drive consistent, high-profile exposure and excitement for The Fantastic Four franchise worldwide," said Mr. Helfant. "The television series furthers our aggressive strategy to fully support our characters through feature films, DVDs, video games, merchandising and television animation."
"Cartoon Network is the home for super heroes and will be a great home for the fantastic four," said Terry Kalagian, vice president of acquisitions and co-productions for Cartoon Network, "We're sure it'll be a fantastic addition to our programming line-up"
Marvel will further support the series with a targeted licensing program. Merchandise is expected to include: toys, interactive entertainment, and apparel.
About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
With a library of over 5,000 characters, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel's operations are focused on utilizing its character franchises in licensing, entertainment, publishing and toys. Areas of emphasis include feature films, DVD/home video, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Rooted in the creative success of over sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel's strategy is to leverage its character franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. More information about Marvel can be found at www.marvel.com.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in more than 88 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Overnight from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.
Except for any historical information that they contain, the statements in this news release regarding Marvel's plans are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including a decrease in the level of media exposure or popularity of Marvel's characters, financial difficulties of Marvel's major licensees, delays and cancellations of movies and television productions based on Marvel characters, poor performance of major movies based on Marvel characters, toy-production delays or shortfalls, continued concentration of toy retailers, toy inventory risk, significant appreciation of Chinese currency against other currencies and the imposition of quotas or tariffs on products manufactured in China. These and other risks and uncertainties are described in Marvel's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Marvel's Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Marvel assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
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For further information contact:
Matt Finick Jeffrey Klein, Ann Hinshaw Richard Land, David Collins
Marvel Entertainment, Inc Dan Klores Communications Jaffoni & Collins
212.576.4035 212.685-4300 212.835.8500
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Marvel, The Fantastic Four, Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman, The Human Torch and The Thing, Dr. Doom and the distinctive likenesses thereof: TM & © 2006 Marvel Characters, Inc.
Animated series: © 2006 Marvel Characters, Inc. and Moonscoop SAS. All rights reserved.
Super Hero(es) is a co-owned registered trademark.