Marvel raises profit forecast, promises ‘Iron Man 2’

LOS ANGELES — As “Iron Man” smashed its way to $201 million in worldwide box office sales, Marvel Entertainment Inc. raised its profit forecast Monday for the year and promised to release “Iron Man 2” in 2010.

The film was the first that Marvel financed itself and culminated a five-year plan to break from its strategy of licensing its top comic book heroes to other studios.

“This is clearly a transformative time for Marvel,” Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel told analysts on a conference call. “It was important for us to get much more control of our destiny and the ability to green-light and make these movies on a predictable basis.”

The company said its improved forecast did not include upside from the box office success of “Iron Man,” only its better-than-expected first-quarter performance.

Marvel shares jumped $2.34, or 7.7 percent, to $32.59 in morning trading.

The company said first-quarter profit dipped 3 percent to $45.2 million, or 58 cents per share, but that beat analysts’ prediction of 43 cents, according to Thomson Financial.

Revenue fell 26 percent to $112.6 million from $151.4 million, but also beat the estimate of $111.7 million.

The company raised the lower end of its guidance for revenue for the year by $10 million, to $370 million to $400 million, and bumped up both ends of its net profit forecast range by 5 cents to $1.35 to $1.55.

Analysts said the figures underestimated the boost the company would get from “Iron Man,” its newest hero in a flying suit.

“This performance far exceeded our estimate,” said Stifel Nicolaus and Co. analyst Drew Crum. He said he expected the film to add 55 cents per share to profit for the year, up from an estimate of 15 cents.

RBC Capital Markets Corp. said the film’s weekend domestic box office of $100.8 million was about 50 percent better than expected, and the analyst firm doubled its expectations for the film to $275 million to $325 million in the U.S. alone.

With Robert Downey Jr. heading the cast. the film was the second-best U.S. premiere ever for a nonsequel, the studio said.

The studio will release “The Incredible Hulk” on June 13.

In line with its upbeat results, Marvel announced a slate of upcoming self-produced films including “Iron Man 2” on April 30, 2010, “Thor” on June 4, 2010, and “The First Avenger: Captain America” on May 6, 2011.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Members of Gravitics' team and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen stand in front of a mockup of a space module interior on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at Gravitics' Marysville facility. Left to right: Mark Tiner, government affairs representative; Jiral Shah, business development; U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen; Mike DeRosa, marketing; Scott Macklin, lead engineer. (Gravitics.)
Marysville startup prepares for space — the financial frontier

Gravitics is building space station module prototypes to one day house space travelers and researchers.

Orca Mobility designer Mike Lowell, left, and CEO Bill Messing at their office on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023 in Granite Falls, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could a Granite Falls startup’s three-wheeler revolutionize delivery?

Orca Mobility’s battery-powered, three-wheel truck is built on a motorcycle frame. Now, they aim to make it self-driving.

Catherine Robinweiler leads the class during a lab session at Edmonds College on April 29, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Grant aids apprenticeship program in Mukilteo and elsewhere

A $5.6 million U.S. Department of Labor grant will boost apprenticeships for special education teachers and nurses.

Peoples Bank is placing piggy banks with $30 around Washington starting Aug. 1.
(Peoples Bank)
Peoples Bank grant program seeks proposals from nonprofits

Peoples Bank offers up to $35,000 in Impact Grants aimed at helping communities. Applications due Sept. 15.

Workers build the first all-electric commuter plane, the Eviation Alice, at Eviation's plant on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Arlington, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Arlington’s Eviation selects Seattle firm to configure production plane

TLG Aerospace chosen to configure Eviation Aircraft’s all-electric commuter plane for mass production.

Jim Simpson leans on Blue Ray III, one of his designs, in his shop on Friday, August 25, 2023, in Clinton, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Whidbey Island master mechanic building dream car from “Speed Racer”

Jim Simpson, 68, of Clinton, is using his knowledge of sports cars to assemble his own Mach Five.

Inside the new Boeing 737 simulator at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo, Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
New Boeing 737 simulator takes ‘flight’ in Mukilteo

Pilots can test their flying skills or up their game at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo.

An Amazon worker transfers and organizes items at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amazon cuts ribbon on colossal $355M fulfillment center in Arlington

At 2.8 million square feet, the facility is the largest of its kind in Washington. It can hold 40 million “units” of inventory.

A computer rendering of the North Creek Commerce Center industrial park in development at 18712 Bothell-Everett Highway. (Kidder Mathews)
Developer breaks ground on new Bothell industrial park

The North Creek Commerce Center on Bothell Everett Highway will provide warehouse and office space in three buildings.

Dan Bates / The Herald
Funko president, Brian Mariotti is excited about the growth that has led his company to need a 62,000 square foot facility in Lynnwood.
Photo Taken: 102312
Former Funko CEO resigns from the Everett company

Brian Mariotti resigned Sept. 1, six weeks after announcing he was taking a six-month sabbatical from the company.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Paper or plastic? Snohomish County may require businesses to take cash

County Council member Nate Nehring proposed an ordinance to ban cashless sales under $200. He hopes cities will follow suit.

A crowd begins to form before a large reception for the opening of Fisherman Jack’s at the Port of Everett on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Seafood with a view: Fisherman Jack’s opens at Port of Everett

“The port is booming!” The new restaurant is the first to open on “restaurant row” at the port’s Waterfront Place.