There has been a lot of speculation as to what effect the Disney Acquisition will have on the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Theme Park in Orlando (which has a great Marvel Super Hero Island with, in my opinion, the greatest ride of all time—The Spider-Man Ride). I'm not sure if you know, but Islands of Adventure competes with another little theme park in Buena Vista called Disney World. Now that Disney will own Marvel, many have pondered the fate of the Marvel Presence in the Universal owned theme park.
The Orlando Sentinel Reports,
The deal apparently won't upend Disney's main theme-park rival, Universal Studios Inc., which has an entire area dedicated to Marvel characters in Islands of Adventure, one of two parks in its Universal Orlando resort.
Universal's long-standing agreement with Marvel gives it exclusive U.S. rights east of the Mississippi River to certain characters for use in theme-park attractions. And the agreement stands for as long as Universal continues to operate the Marvel Super Hero Island area, which features rides such as The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Doctor Doom's Fearfall.
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Marvel has several long-term agreements in place already with various other companies for many of its characters, including movie deals with Paramount, Sony and Fox, for such characters as Iron Man, X-Men, Spider-Man, Captain America and Thor. Those contracts will be honored until their terms expire, which could be several years or more in some cases.
Marvel also has various deals with the two-park Universal Orlando. The agreements governing two of Universal's hugely popular rides, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk roller coaster, appear to be virtually perpetual deals. According to Universal's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Universal Orlando retains American rights east of the Mississippi River for as long as its attractions are in operation.
Universal and Marvel also have various deals for everything from merchandise sales to the theming of many other portions of the Orlando resort's Islands of Adventure theme park.
When asked about Marvel's deals with other film studios for pending movie projects, Iger said Disney would honor the terms of those contracts. He did not specifically comment on Marvel's theme-park deal with Universal Orlando, nor did the Marvel executives participating in the conference call.
In addition, Tom Schroder at Universal Orlando has made the following statement : "Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal's Islands of Adventure and the Marvel characters are a beloved and important part of the Universal Orlando experience. They will remain so. Our guests are going to get to meet Spider-Man and all our other Marvel characters. We believe our agreement with Marvel stands and that the Disney/Marvel deal will have no impact on our guest experience."
Suffice to say, I think the Spider-Man Ride will be around for a while.
More news and a video of the awesome Spider-Man ride after the jump.
USA Today has the next installment of the Superman story from Wednesday Comics online at their site. Access it here.
Speaking of the Man of Steel, Cinematical.com are holding their "Best Superhero Movie of ALL TIME Tournament" Round 9 has Superman: The Movie versus Spider-Man 2. You can vote here.
Finally, The Superman Homepage has a three page preview for the upcoming Hunt for Reactron storyline featured in Supergirl and Action Comics (courtesy of DC Comics Source).
According to Variety, Nikolaj Arcel has been hired to direct Warner Bros.' adaptation of DC Comics' Deadman, which Guillermo del Toro, Don Murphy and Susan Montford are producing.
Here the trailer for Astroboy, based on the anime by Osamu Tezuka. It is being produced by Imagi Animation StudiosThe film and features the voices of Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland and Nicolas Cage.
Carmike Cinemas is now offering tickets to the midnight, November 19 showings of The Twilight Saga: New Moon at 63 of the chain's 247 theaters. Advance tickets to New Moon can be ordered through the online site Fandango. The early screenings will take place at Carmike theaters in small-to-medium markets, such as Fort Wayne, Indina, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Des Moines, Iowa.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon opens in wide release on November 20, 2009.
Speaking of Twilight, did you know that the books in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series made the list of the most-downloaded novels on Bit Torrent this year. Here is the list from SciFi wire (I see a pattern in the titles)
1. Kama Sutra
2. Adobe Photoshop Secrets
3. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex
4. The Lost Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
5. Solar House—A Guide for the Solar Designer
6. Before Pornography—Erotic Writing In Early Modern England
7. Twilight—Complete Series
8. How To Get Anyone To Say YES—The Science of Influence
9. Nude Photography—The Art and the Craft
10. Fix It—How to Do All Those Little Repair Jobs Around the Home
As we head into Labor Day, Box Office Mojo reports the top ten movies are:
1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Gross: $399,416,040
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Gross: $294,258,075
3. Up Gross: $289,639,811
4. The Hangover Gross: $270,237,753
5. Star Trek Gross: $256,673,273
6. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Gross: $193,250,211
7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine Gross: $179,863,544
8. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Gross: $176,461,908
9. The Proposal Gross: $160,154,402
10. Angels & Demons Gross: $133,375,846
I should note that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is number 11 at $132,151,854, but will sure to break the top ten before the year is out.
I should also note (in a fit of self promotion) that if you click these links and buy the DVDs from Amazon, you will be helping to promote the site. ;-)
Comicscontinuum.com reports that Lionsgate, which recently acquired the distribution rights to the Kick-Ass movie, has set an April 16 release date.
Here is the official description.
"Kick-Ass tells the story of average teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), a comic-book fanboy who decides to take his obsession as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. As any good superhero would, he chooses a new name -- Kick-Ass -- assembles a suit and mask to wear, and gets to work fighting crime. There¹s only one problem standing in his way: Kick-Ass has absolutely no superpowers.
"His life is forever changed as he inspires a subculture of copy cats, is hunted by assorted violent and unpleasant characters, and meets up with a pair of crazed vigilantes, including an 11-year-old sword-wielding dynamo, Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) and her father, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage).
Empire Online has an exclusive interview with Todd McFarlane, who talks about his reimagining of The Wizard of Oz, based on "Twisted Land of Oz" action figure line. Josh Olsen is writing the script and no actors have been cast.
This is an oldie but a goodie from the Onion News Network.