Marvel Announces Star Wars Legends Epic Collections Beginning April 2015


Marvel is excited to announce the release of an oversized dose of a galaxy far, far, away—Star Warscomics are coming to Marvel’s prestigious Epic Collection format, Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Vol. 1 TPB.

Marvel welcomes Star Wars to the Epic Collection program with this first volume of a series focusing on the years that follow Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith! After the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic has fallen and Palpatine exerts his ruthless grip on his new Galactic Empire. Now, the few Jedi that remain must decide whether to hold true to their faith or abandon it completely in the face of a brutal purge—one carried out by the new Dark Lord of the Sith.

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Vol. 1 TPB will offer a new way for fans to collect and read iconic Star Wars stories across the past 35 years of published titles.

These oversized, self-contained color collections will bring the adventures of the Rebellion, the Galactic Empire and more to the masses with exciting new Epic Collections.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Rockets to $94 Million Domestic Debut


“Guardians of the Galaxy,” Walt Disney Company’s offbeat space adventure featuring extraterrestrial misfits and a talking raccoon, made $94 million in ticket sales this weekend, setting a record for an August film opening.

The film’s strong beginning, however, isn’t likely to jumpstart a lackluster summer box office season.

The 3D movie, which stars lesser-known characters in Disney’s Marvel comic book universe, added $66.4 million from international markets, for a global debut of $160.4 million, Disney said on Sunday.

“Guardians” outgunned last weekend’s leader, the science-fiction thriller “Lucy” that collected another $18.3 million in sales at domestic theaters, according to estimates from Rentrak.

“Lucy” stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman with a super-powered brain.

“Get On Up,” a biography of the soul singer James Brown, was third with $14 million in its first weekend in theaters.

“Guardians” stars an ensemble cast that includes Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Chris Pratt. After positive reviews, the film was the year’s biggest Thursday night opening with $11.2 million in sales starting with 7 p.m. shows.

Even before the film’s opening, Walt Disney said it was planning a sequel for release in July 2017.

Head of distribution for Walt Disney Studios Dave Hollis attributed the strong performance of “Guardians” to a combination of momentum started by “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in June, skillful marketing, and strong reviews.

“It starts with a great movie, and certainly the marketing was inspired,” Hollis said.

Disney had marketed the film’s lighter moments in trailers and commercials, including a machinegun-firing raccoon, to expand its popularity beyond traditional Marvel movie fans.

The movie features a soundtrack of music from the 1970s, including the songs “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Spirit in the Sky.”

“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” another Marvel film, just passed $1 billion in global box office returns, according to Paramount Pictures.

“Guardians” performance, which beat Hollywood forecasts of a $65 million to $80 million opening, are not likely to energize the summer box office, however, as ticket sales are currently running 18 percent behind last year, according to Rentrak.

“It doesn’t end it but it’s certainly a step in the right direction,” said Rentrak’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian about the slump.

It only gave the overall summer box office a two percent lift, he said.

“Hercules,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the legendary muscle man, was fourth for the weekend with $10.7 million.

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” was fifth with $8.7 million. The film has totaled more than $189.3 million in sales in U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak.

Marvel Studios Schedules five Untitled Movies Through 2019

Marvel Studios

Disney has planted the flag on release dates for five untitled Marvel movies staring with July 27, 2017 and running through May 3, 2019.

The other dates are:

November 3, 2017

July 6, 2018

November 2, 2018.

The studio made the announcement Friday afternoon, as part of a pre-emptive move to lock down prime summer and fall berths for Marvel’s movies.

Marvel will likely announce several of the new titles as part of the next wave of films that make up its cinematic universe at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con. It presents on July 26.

“Guardians of the Galaxy,” which bows Aug. 1, is Marvel’s tenth film since it started financing and producing its own films beginning with “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” in 2008. Should that film succeed at the box office, sequels and spinoffs are likely and could land the property one of the new slots.

Marvel already had a third “Captain America” scheduled for May 6, 2016, pitting it against Warner Bros.’ “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

Another possible franchise starter, “Doctor Strange,” is also dated for July 8, 2016.

In addition to the two new dates in 2017, Marvel already had a film set for release on May 5, giving it three films that year.

For 2015, Marvel has “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” on May 1, followed by “Ant-Man” on July 17.

Marvel has previously announced plans for a third “Avengers,” as well as another “Thor,” while it’s developing standalone films around Black Widow and Black Panther.

Here is the full Marvel release schedule so far:

May 1: The Avengers: Age of Ultron
July 17: Ant-Man

May 6: Captain America 3
July 8: Doctor Strange

May 5: Untitled
July 27: Untitled
Nov. 3: Untitled

July 6: Untitled
Nov. 2: Untitled

May 3: Untitled


Dreamfinder Returns, and With All-New Origin Story

New Dreamfinder

If you’ve never considered yourself a comic book fan, Disney and Marvel guarantee that’s about to change. Today, Marvel Comics just released the first of five comics that explore the backstory of Dreamfinder and Figment in the latest release from the Disney Kingdoms series.


The jolly redhead, who hosted the Journey into Imagination attraction at Epcot from 1983 to 1998, is back, and in comic book form. While Dreamfinder’s foil, Figment—the childish side of imagination with a short attention span—is headlining the new series, D23 is thrilled about a story that centers around Dreamfinder and how he came to be an inventor and an explorer.

We recently caught up with Figment‘s editor Bill Rosemann to talk about where Marvel Comics is taking these two legendary Disney park characters in the new series. “We decided to go with the origin story of the characters for the comic book because in the attraction, when we first met Dreamfinder and Figment, we sensed that there was a history that wasn’t told yet,” Bill says. “We’ve met him on the attraction, but what people haven’t seen is his path and his early days. We show the moment when Figment leaps into existence and their first adventure together.” The characters that would become Dreamfinder and Figment originated as Professor Marvel and his dragon friend for a proposed, but never realized, area of Disneyland known as Discovery Bay. When that project was canceled, the characters became the symbols of imagination for the Journey into Imaginationpavilion at Epcot.

“When you think about a Marvel movie, we first like to look at the origins of the characters because you learn so much about what makes the character a hero or a villain. You meet them before they have their powers and you get to care about them. In the Marvel way, they have challenges and things they have to struggle with in their life. When they are put in extraordinary situations, their challenges don’t go away. In fact, in most cases, getting their abilities just creates more problems for them, and readers really appreciate the underdog nature of our characters and how sympathetic and relatable they are. That was our approach to Dreamfinder.”

Bill worked with some of Figment’s biggest fans to help bring the Disney parks story to life: Imagineers. “We were very collaborative with Imagineers Josh Shipley, Jim Clark, Brian Crosby, and Tom Morris,” Bill says. “They were our core group and we showed everything and bounced everything off of them. They helped us create this idea about a steampunk fantasy adventure in Victorian England.” Imagineer Brian Crosby designed the steampunk-inspired logo for Marvel Comics.

The story team set out to sprinkle Easter Eggs that pay homage to the attraction throughout the entire story. “Our writer, Jim Zub, really studied every aspect of the ride, so you’ll see familiar names and locations,” Bill says. “The theme of the story comes directly from the attraction. It will appeal on multiple levels to fans. We are always looking to reward the fan.”

When asked about what’s coming out after Figment, Bill says, “We have some various ideas up for discussion. Hanging right above my desk now is a map of Disneyland.” And if Bill were to cast a celebrity in the role of Dreamfinder, he says, “Well, I’ve always been a huge fan of Johnny Depp and I know he’s been in a lot of Disney movies. But I will leave that up to the casting agents in Hollywood.” We’ll keep our fingers crossed for a film. A read through the comic and you’ll agree it’s just asking for a film adaptation.


‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Preview Coming to Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios July 4th


From the studio that brought you “The Avengers” comes a new team. They call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy, and they’re the crew at the epicenter of one of this summer’s biggest movie events. Starting July 4, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is coming to Disney Parks with an exclusive sneak peek, offering guests an extended look at the film before it opens in theaters.

At Disneyland park in California, you can catch this limited time intergalactic preview in 3D with special in-theater effects at the Magic Eye Theater in Tomorrowland, where Captain EO is typically shown. Captain EO is expected to return at a later date.

For those of you visiting Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, you’ll be able to experience the cosmic adventure of “Guardians of the Galaxy” at the ABC Sound Studio at Disney’s Hollywood Studios presented in spectacular RealD 3D, a new dimension of entertainment.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” finds space adventurer Peter Quill the object of a bounty hunt after stealing an orb coveted by a treacherous villain, but when Quill discovers the power it holds, he must find a way to rally the quartet of ragtag rivals hot on his trail to save the universe.

“Guardians of the Galaxy,” releases in U.S. theaters on August 1, 2014.


Disney Infinity 2.0 Edition with Marvel Super Heroes Arriving This Fall

Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes

Today, Disney Interactive—with an introduction from The Avengers’ Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)—previewed Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel Super Heroes. Agent Phil Colson (Clark Gregg) from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. walked onstage at the Cinerama Dome to begin the presentation and Jimmy Pitaro, president, Disney Interactive, gave us a glimpse at years of fun ahead by showing Rapunzel wielding a lightsaber. The game will be released this fall.

Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada says that the team has drawn upon the great history of Marvel characters and explains that what has always separated Marvel Super Heroes is that they have always been “real people” with real world problems. Their “humanity” is what has made them aspirational and relatable and has helped them stand the test of time.

Brian Michael Bendis was tapped to help create the story and character voices to make sure that it “smelled and tasted like Marvel.” Bendis immediately saw the game’s potential, believing that “This game could do for this generation what comic books did for us.”

Quesada was excited by the question of how to adapt Disney Infinity into the Marvel world, and make it “uniquely Marvel but still fit within the world of the game.” The game figures include Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, and Hulk.

John Vignocchi, executive producer and John Blackburn, vice president and general manager, listened to the community in creating the high-quality collectible figures players and new ways to play with them in the software.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Producers Reaction to Captain America: The Winter Soldier Plot Twist



Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, the creators of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD creators discussed how a major twist in Captain America: The Winter Soldier will impact the series. Discussion online about the fate of the ABC show has intensified in recently because at the conclusion of Captain America: The Winter Soldier sees SHIELD being disbanded due the infiltration of HYDRA. Whedon recently has said that he was well-briefed by Marvel. “We know a lot about every movie a long time before it comes out,” the writer insisted. “We get to read the scripts and see early cuts, so if and when there are things that affect our world, we have a lot of time to prepare. And there are some things in [Captain America: The Winter Soldier] that will ripple into our show.”

Whedon and Tancharoen teased that “things go crazy” in forthcoming episodes that reference the events of the Marvel movie. “Everything’s an opportunity,” Tancharoen said. “Everything is interconnected, which is definitely a unique situation when you have a television show connected to films like this.”


Box Office: ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ Nabs Record $37 Million Friday

Captain America Winter Soldier

From The Hollywood Reporter

Winning over critics and moviegoers alike, Marvel and Disney’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier grossed $37 million from 3,938 theaters on Friday, the biggest day ever for the month of April, not accounting for inflation. The superhero sequel is expected to earn $93 million-plus for the weekend, also an April best.

Overseas, where it opened ahead of its North American launch, the $170 million tentpole has already earned $132.2 million and should finish Sunday with a whopping global total of $270 million or more — only $100 million behind the $370.6 million earned by Captain America: The First Avenger in its entire run. So far, Captain America 2 is pacing 40 percent ahead of the first film, which debuted in May 2011.

Universal’s 2011 Fast Five was the previous record-holder for the best single day in April ($34.4 million). It likewise holds the record for top April opening ($86.2 million), a milestoneCaptain America 2 will eclipse.

Captain America 2, directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, nabbed an A CinemaScore across all demos, as well as stellar reviews from critics.

The follow-up is also benefiting from the post-Avengers glow. Like the first ThorCaptain America: The First Avengerlaunched to roughly $65 million domestically in July 2011. But the wild success of 2012’s The Avengers has seen fortunes rise for the Iron Man and Thor franchises.

Returning Chris Evans in the title role, as well as Avengersstars Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. JacksonCaptain America 2 picks up two years after Avengers left off. Captain America and Black Widow (Johansson) discover there is a secret conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. and fight to stop it, along with The Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie. (Some critics have described the film as an intriguing espionage tale, versus never-ending action.) The villainous Winter Soldier is played by Sebastian Stan.

The superhero sequel is on course to score the top April opening of all time domestically.  It will finish the weekend with at least $270 million in global ticket sales.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Opens This Weekend in US and Canada

Captain America Winter Soldier

Captain America, one of our favorite Avengers, is already taking the world by storm. Captain America: The Winter Soldier debuted in 32 overseas markets last weekend and took the No. 1 box office spot in all but two. You can see Cap (played again by Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) battling a mysterious force in Washington, D.C. in theaters near you (including IMAX) here in the U.S. and Canada this Friday, April 4

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