Peter Cuneo, Vice Chairman of Marvel Enterprises

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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.

Watch Your World w/Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.

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?

CUNEO: Sure.

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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