This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, August 12, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, talk about packing a punch on Wall Street. Shares of Marvel Enterprises rose 15 percent. Profits increasing more than six-fold after a big boost in licensing revenue from popular super heroes like the Hulk (search) and Spider-Man.
Joining me now with all the details, Peter Cuneo, vice chairman of Marvel Enterprises. Peter, good to have you.
CAVUTO: There’s money in them-there superheroes, huh?
CUNEO: Sure is. We had a great year this year with Hulk. We are very, very pleased with the results. As a result, we are able to report higher than expected earnings for the second quarter today and to raise our projections for the full year 2003 as well.
CAVUTO: Now, next year, you have a second installment of Spider-Man coming out, right?
CUNEO: That’s right, yes. Spider-Man 2 coming from Sony Pictures (SNY) next July.
CAVUTO: So you have a lot of superheroes competing with each other. Daredevil, which was earlier this summer, that did OK. Hulk did OK, but then it sunk like a stone the second week. But a lot of films did that. What’s going on?
CUNEO: Well, we’re very pleased with the Hulk. Despite the expectations of maybe other people who are observing the movie business, the Hulk currently has a worldwide box office of over $220 million.
CUNEO: It has not premiered yet in every market. We think we’ll end up closer to $250 million for the year. The DVD is going to be very special. But what’s most important for us, Neil, is the licensing around the movie.
CAVUTO: That’s where you really make the enchilada, right, now?
CUNEO: That’s correct, and the licensing revenue is very strong from Hulk. We are seeing nice overages from the Hulk, and toys were particularly strong. We had the No. 1 one boy’s toy probably for this year in the Hulk hands.
CAVUTO: Do you guys deal with the Fantastic Four?
CUNEO: Yes, we do.
CAVUTO: Is that you, too?
CAVUTO: And what’s that?
CUNEO: Fantastic Four is currently targeted by FOX (FOX) to be released in December of 2004.
CAVUTO: Well, so it’s Fox.
CUNEO: That’s correct.
CAVUTO: Then we won’t criticize that one.
CAVUTO: Well, let me ask you about some of the superheroes, though. Is it me or are a lot of them just moody?
CUNEO: Well, that’s probably because you identify with the superheroes, Neil.
CAVUTO: No, you know what I mean? I don’t mean to be facetious, Peter, but from the Hulk and the Daredevil, they’re all wrestling with these inner problems. I mean, is there one who just has a clear conscience, he’s OK, he’s not wrestling with depression or any of that stuff?
CUNEO: I think the whole mark of the Marvel superheroes as opposed to some other people’s superheroes -- and what really aides Marvel because our only asset are our characters -- is our intellectual property. That many people can identify with them on an emotional level and emotional attachment is very important.
CAVUTO: Yes. It’s easy to think if you’re a superhero, you’d run with it and be delighted. But I guess not.
Peter Cuneo, thank you very much. Congratulations again.
CUNEO: You’re welcome.
CAVUTO: I appreciate it.
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