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好莱坞教你玩转超级IP:漫画如何大赚90亿

Daniel Bukszpan 2016年02月29日

超能力的“北欧人托尔”和“美国队长”等其他角色让漫威厚积薄发,赢得了品牌认可。迪士尼显然才是笑到最后的赢家。两部“托尔”电影在全球共斩获超过10亿美元的收入。

在第10届纽约国际动漫展上,《财富》杂志观察了一本漫画书如何成为好莱坞电影,最终成为一个商业帝国的有趣历程。没错,本文讲述的正是漫威电影的宇宙系列。

当时,第10届纽约国际动漫展被数以千计的角色扮演者、动漫收藏家和超级粉丝挤得水泄不通。他们纷纷向心爱的漫画小说、电子游戏、电影和电视节目表露忠心。

自2006年举行首届动漫展以来,来自曼哈顿的簿记员约瑟•维加每年都参加这一盛会。接受《财富》采访时,他表示,根据自己的参会经历,这届动漫展的首日无疑是人数最多的一次。他说:“我有点惊讶,这次比以前要拥挤得多。我觉得动漫展正被越来越多的人接受。”

如果此话不假,那么几乎可以肯定,漫威电影宇宙对此功不可没。

如果你对此不太了解的话,这是一系列关于超级英雄的电影,漫威动画的所有角色互有关联。自2008年发布《钢铁侠》以来,该公司就一部部地推出电影大片。在这部根据同名漫画书改编的电影中,小罗伯特•唐尼扮演的亿万富翁托尼•斯塔克身穿一件他自己创造的高科技装甲套装,变身为一位令全球恐怖分子闻风丧胆的无敌钢铁侠。

根据票房数据公司Box Office Mojo的数据,《钢铁侠》的全球票房为5.85亿美元,从那时起到现在,漫威系列产品的全球总收入已经接近90亿美元。在维加看来,由于它们的火爆,人们对纽约漫展的狂热看起来像是古代才有的事情。

维加表示:“漫威展台的人气比以前旺多了。电影带来了许多观众……我注意到过去几年来,他们的粉丝数量一直在稳步增长。”

从漫画书到系列电影

这一切并非偶然。自2007年起,漫威电影宇宙就开始拍摄电影,到目前为止,它走过了三个苦心规划的阶段。

第一阶段的电影介绍了漫威的所有角色,以2012年的《复仇者联盟》为终点。

第二阶段的电影在现有的角色上进行了剧情拓展,还引入了新角色,例如2015年的《复仇者联盟2:奥创纪元》和《蚁人》。

漫威动画计划在2016年进入第三阶段,届时将推出的电影包括《美国队长3:内战》和《奇异博士》。这一阶段还会有两部《复仇者》续集。该公司还在不久前宣布将于2018年推出《蚁人》的续集《蚁人与黄蜂女》。

每个人都在猜测接下来还会有什么电影。不过目前似乎可以肯定,没有人想要让“绿巨人”和他的朋友们在可预见的将来优雅谢幕。实际上,在2014年接受彭博新闻社采访时,漫威工作室的董事长凯文•费格就表示,他们拍摄电影的计划可以延续到2028年。

迪士尼是笑到最后的赢家

如果他们真的做到这一点,并且目前的趋势能够持续下去,那么,迪士尼公司将会获得一笔史无前例的收入(国防业除外)。然而,人们之前并不这么想。迪士尼在2010年以40亿美元收购漫威娱乐时,其股价曾经下跌。毕竟,漫威最流行的角色蜘蛛侠已经属于索尼影视了,谁想去看一堆关于“雷神托尔”的电影?

但如今,迪士尼显然才是笑到最后的赢家。两部“托尔”电影在全球共斩获超过10亿美元的收入。

超能力的“北欧人托尔”和“美国队长”等其他角色让漫威厚积薄发,赢得了品牌认可。很难想象,如果没有如此高的品牌认同,2015年夏天上映的《蚁人》能够在全球获得4.1亿美元的票房。当年10月7日,迪士尼公司2015年度的总票房突破40亿美元大关。正是《蚁人》和《复仇者联盟2:奥创纪元》的助阵,才使得迪士尼完成了这样的壮举。

网上发行

迪士尼为漫威勾画的蓝图并不仅仅限于大银幕。2015年,漫威与流媒体服务商Netflix合作的剧集《超胆侠》首次亮相,它的成功足以激励该公司在2016年拍摄第二季。如果你等不了那么久,还可以看看《杰西卡•琼斯》,这部剧集已经在2015年11月在这家流媒体服务平台上线。两部剧集都是为漫威的另一部连续短剧《捍卫者》做准备。有人预测,这部作品也会衍生出系列电影。

除了电影大片,他们还出售衍生产品。

漫威在网店销售自己的品牌商品,包括以复仇者为主题的Dooney & Bourke尼龙挎包(售价268美元),以及漫画艺术家亚历克斯•罗斯设计的《秘密战争》艺术微喷(售价1,500美元)等等。漫威也没有忘记孩子们,店里还有身穿反绿巨人装甲的钢铁侠模型和托尔的雷神之锤模型(售价25美元)。

不过,漫威也不是唯一出产超级英雄的公司。2016年《蝙蝠侠大战超人:正义黎明》也将上市,这是2013年电影《超人:钢铁之躯》的续集。这部电影将会有《潜水侠》和《神力女超人》的人物出场。随着英雄们拥挤出场,消费者很可能会感受到超级英雄疲劳症。如果真的这样,请不要慌张。

此后两个月,《星球大战:原力觉醒》如期上映,这是迪士尼在2012年收购卢卡斯影业之后推出的第一部星战系列电影。当时,该电影甚至还没开始卖票,就被预计将获得20亿美元的收入。制片方还计划推出大量续集和衍生产品。所以,不要为迪士尼哭泣。无论如何,这家公司毕竟还有钢铁侠和R2-D2这样的人气角色为其贡献收入。(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

审校:任文科

At the 10th Annual New York Comic Con, Fortune takes a look at the amazing path a comic book series took to Hollywood movie franchise, and more.

The 10th Annual New York Comic Con was in full swing, and thousands of cosplayers, comic collectors and all-around superfans have swarmed to Manhattan’s sprawling Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to pledge fealty to their beloved graphic novels, video games, movies and television shows.

Jose Vega, a bookkeeper from Manhattan, has attended the festivities every year since the first gathering took place in 2006. He told Fortune that the opening day of the convention was the most crowded Thursday he’s ever seen in all his years of attendance, hands down.“I’m just surprised,” he said. “It’s more packed than normal. I think the con is becoming more mainstream.”

If this is true, you almost certainly have the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, to thank for it.

If you don’t know what that is, it’s a superhero movie series with interconnected Marvel Comics characters, and it’s been producing one cinematic blockbuster after another since 2008’s “Iron Man.” An adaptation of the comic book of the same name, Robert Downey, Jr. plays billionaire Tony Stark, who dons a high-tech armored suit of his own creation to become the invincible Iron Man, scourge of global terrorism.

According to Box Office Mojo, “Iron Man” went on to earn $585 million at the worldwide box office, and since then, the properties released under the MCU rubric have collectively earned almost $9 billion globally. In Vega’s view, their popularity has made Comic Con’s longtime cult status a thing of the distant past.

“The Marvel booth was a lot more crowded,” Vega said. “The movies brought a lot of people… I’ve noticed a steady increase for the past couple of years.”

From comic book to movie franchise

None of this has happened by accident. The movies of the MCU have been in production since 2007, and so far comprise three painstakingly planned phases.

The first phase introduced all of the characters and culminated in 2012’s “The Avengers.”

The second expanded on the existing characters and introduced new ones, in such films as 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Ant-Man.”

The third phase begins its planned rollout in 2016 with “Captain America: Civil War” and “Doctor Strange.” This phase will see two further “Avengers” sequels and the 2018 sequel to “Ant-Man” that was just announced, “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

What happens after that is anybody’s guess. But for now, it seems safe to assume that nobody’s thinking about having the Hulk or any of his colleagues bow out gracefully anytime in the foreseeable future. In fact, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told Bloomberg News in 2014 that there have been proposals to keep making movies as far off as the year 2028.

Disney’s get a lucrative last laugh

If that happens, and current trends hold, Walt Disney Studios stands to make a sum of money that is without precedent outside of the defense industry. However, that wasn’t always the conventional view. When Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2010 for $4 billion, Disney’s stock price dropped. After all, Marvel’s most popular character, Spiderman, already belonged to Sony Pictures, and who wants to see a bunch of movies about Thor?

That Disney had the last laugh is now beyond dispute. The two “Thor” movies grossed over $1 billion combined at the worldwide box office.

The success of the super-powered Norseman and such other also-ran properties as Captain America built momentum and brand recognition for Marvel, and it’s hard to imagine that last summer’s “Ant-Man” would have taken in $410 million at the worldwide box office otherwise. So when Walt Disney Studios crossed the $4 billion mark at the 2015 global box office on October 7, “Ant-Man” and “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” had helped make that unparalleled success a reality.

Online distribution

Disney isn’t limiting Marvel’s reach to the big screen. 2015 also saw the premiere of “Daredevil” on Netflix, and it was successful enough to earn a second season in 2016. If you can’t wait that long, there’s also “Jessica Jones,” which is scheduled to premiere on the streaming service in November 2015. Both shows lead up to the “Defenders” miniseries, another Marvel property that, one assumes, will spawn other franchises.

And there’s the stuff for sale

Marvel also sells branded merchandise in its shop, including a $268 Avengers Nylon Satchel by Dooney & Bourke and a $1500 ”Secret Wars” Giclée by comic artist Alex Ross. The Marvel shop hasn’t forgotten about the kids either, and sells such urchin bait as the $25 Iron Man Hulkbuster Action Figure and Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjölnir.

Marvel isn’t the only studio in the superhero game. 2016 will see the release of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the sequel to 2013’s “Man of Steel.” The movie will feature appearances by Aquaman and Wonder Woman, and with a field that crowded, there is a very real risk of consumers contractinga terminal case of superhero fatigue. If this happens, don’t panic.

Two months later, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened, the first film in the “Star Wars” saga since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. The movie has been projected to earn $2 billion before a single ticket has even gone on sale, and it’s scheduled to be followed by numerous sequels and spin-offs. So weep not for Walt Disney Studios. With Iron Man and R2-D2 in its talent pool, the company will probably be okay, whatever happens.

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