Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), The Walt Disney Company (DIS): 3 Things Every Investor Should Know About Comic-Con

Page 1 of 2

I’m back. Three years after last venturing to San Diego cover the annual Comic-Con fest that helped launch The Walking Dead to record ratings, creating a fountain of profits for AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) in the process, I’ve returned to take another up-close-and-personal look at the business of comics and pop culture.

There’s a lot to cover. Digital comics are bringing the stories of heroes, villains, crooks, cops, and monsters old and new to a much wider audience, says Rob Salkowitz, author of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture.

Henry Cavill’s supersuit from Man of Steel on display at the DC Comics booth. Photo credit: Tim Beyers.

In an interview, Salkowitz notes how, before 2011 and the rise of digital comics, a shrinking pool of specialty retailers were fighting to sell to a small and apparently finite niche of hardcore collectors like Yours Truly. Now, anyone with an iPad can try comics. Fears expressed three years ago have gone unrealized.

“Digital wasn’t going to be the nail in the coffin. The coffin was already built and being lowered into the ground,” Salkowitz says. Now, the industry is awash with new ideas, new stories, Kickstarter campaigns, and upstart publishers.

One such rebel, BOOM! Studios, brings its first adaptation — 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg — to theaters next month. Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)‘s NBCUniversal will distribute the film, another potential win for a studio that’s been working aggressively to cash in on the comic-book movie boom. That includes a just-announced deal to replace Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) as production partner for Legendary Pictures.

So what’s an investor to do with all the goings on at Comic-Con? Remember these three things:

1. Panels are press conferences in disguise. Every major studio and publisher has a panel. So do most television properties. Warner and Legendary presented together on Saturday morning. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)‘s Marvel Studios takes the stage Saturday night. Expect these venues to be sources of material news, and for the stocks to respond in kind.

2. The Big 2 matter, but not as much as they used to. Comic-Con isn’t just about Marvel and DC. Upstarts will be fostering enthusiasm for insurgent projects throughout the show. For example, Universal will be on stage Friday afternoon to talk up Riddick, due in September and starring Vin Diesel in a follow-up to earlier sci-fi tries The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) and Pitch Black (2000). Separately, Dark Horse Entertainment — which releases R.I.P.D. this weekend — has a Friday night panel featuring Avengers director Joss Whedon talking about his various non-Disney projects, including beloved series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly.

3. Fans still matter, even after Scott Pilgrim. Comic-Con skeptics often cite the box office failure of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World as evidence of the show’s niche status. They’re right, and wrong. Scott Pilgrim — the manga-influenced adaptation starring Michael Cera — was never destined to wow everyone. Yet neither was Arrow, the DC Comics adaptation that’s proved to be a niche hit for Warner’s CW network, nor The Walking Dead. Comic-Con has helped to establish both properties in the public consciousness.

Page 1 of 2
Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The Best B-Boy Movies

Most Awesome Hip Hop Documentaries

Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Richest Doctors in the World

The Best Movie Sountracks Ever

The Highest Grossing Musicals on Broadway

The Most Successful Reality TV Stars

Cheapest Cities to Visit in the US

Most Expensive Summer Camps

Most Expensive Animals in the World

Most Expensive Specialty Crops in the World

Movies That Took Ages to Make

The Longest Hollywood Films Ever Made

Most Expensive Concert Stages

The Richest Bands of all Time

10 Most Corrupt Countries 2013 List

10 Countries with the Highest Quality of Life Index

Most Expensive Mattresses in the World

5 Smallest Countries by Land Area

The Ultimate Heartbreak Songs

Richest Teenagers in the World

10 Most Haunted Places in America

10 Best Places to Retire in Florida East Coast

Top 10 Places to See Before You Die

Top 8 Countries in the World Where Justice Prevails

10 Richest States in America

15 Wealthiest Countries in the World

Richest Singers in the World

Most Expensive Tasting Menu in New York City

Most Expensive Baby Items in the World

Most Expensive Hotel Suites in Vegas

Most Expensive Brunch in New York City

Most Expensive Beef Cuts in the World

25 Best Colleges to Get a Job

Top 10 US Supermarkets

The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in the World to Visit

Most Expensive Xbox Games

Top 11 Cities Where Billionaires Live

Top 10 Most Charitable Companies in America

Most Expensive Seafood in the World

The 10 Wildest Conspiracy Theories

The 10 Best Job Markets in the US

Top 10 Accounting Scandals of All Time

The 25 Biggest Cities in the World

Top 10 Best Paying Virtual Jobs

Most Expensive Leather Shoes in the World

Top 6 Things to Buy in March

The 10 Most Stressful Jobs in America – 2014 List

Top 10 Jobs for Introverted People

Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations in the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!