In the world of IPs and rights, you never know what might happen. Marvel Studios is still trying to regain the rights that Marvel Comics once sold to external partners all the way in the past to ensure they wouldn’t go bankrupt. While Sony is not likely to ever let go of Spider-Man, it does seem like there are two characters they might finally regain the film rights to according to a Wall Street analyst, Jason Bazinet, who has a “Buy” on Disney shares and offered some predictions on where he sees the company’s future.
One of the biggest questions always was: will Disney hold on to Hulu? The streaming service did push its overall subscriber numbers but existed as a direct competitor to their in-house produced streaming service Disney+. They also don’t fully own it with a 67% stake being the only reason they have as much control over r the service as they do. Bazinet though believes going by the latest fiscal quarter, they’ll likely sell the service.
Following fiscal 1Q23 results, we believe the company is less interested in a mass market DTC offering. This raises the possibility that Disney may sell its Hulu stake.Jason Bazinet
The share size was a result of their Fox deal that cost them a whopping $71.3B back in 2019. They technically have the right to buy out the remaining 33% from Comcast as of January 2024, but there’s no definite that they are obliged to definitely do so. Blazinet though believes that perhaps the sale of Hulu gives them some leverage to get their hands back on the distribution rights for the Marvel IPs of Hulk and Namor.
While Disney owns all Marvel IP, Universal has distribution rights to Hulk and Namor. As such, if Disney makes a Hulk or Namor film, Comcast can distribute the film on Peacock. If Hulu is sold, Disney may use this as an opportunity to secure these distribution rights.Jason Bazinet
Hulu can be found in 44% of U.S. online households and has a strong market share. Though if they do decide to purchase the remaining rights, they might just fuse the service similar to how the service is being treated internationally with the Star branding. As of now, the costs estimated for Hulu stand at somewhere between $19.8B and $27.5B. Though there have been rumors they might regain the rights by 2023 anyway. So, we’ll have to see what that might mean especially with rumors of a World War Hulk film making the rounds.
Source: The Wrap