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'Spider-Man 3' Drives Marvel Earnings

Tuesday, 8 May 2007 | 2:10 PM ET

"We can now control our own destiny," says David Maisel, executive vice president of Marvel Entertainment. He joined CNBC's Sue Herera on "Power Lunch" to explain how the comic-book publisher grew into a "multi-pronged" entertainment giant, spanning from Broadway to Dubai -- and, of course, Hollywood.

Marvel Earnings
Earnings in light of Spiderman's success and a look at Marvel's future plans, with David Maisel, Marvel Entertainment executive vp and CNBC's Sue Herera

Marvel's first-quarter earnings more than doubled over the year-ago period, thanks in part to Sony merchandise licensing fees related to Spider-Man 3. The sequel took in $148 million in domestic box office receipts over its opening weekend -- a Hollywood record.

And the superhero film potential has Maisel, who sits as chairman of Marvel Studios, "very excited." He said that 2007 has proven the company's strengths -- paving the way for next year, when Marvel will launch "two of our own films, financing ourselves and managing ourselves."

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The chairman said that 2008's The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man will feature A-list actors including Edward Norton and Gwyneth Paltrow -- and the studio will "achieve full financial upside."

Like The Walt Disney Co., Marvel is creating character-based video games (partnering with Sega), is developing a film-based Broadway show, and is building a "billion-dollar" theme park in Dubai, slated to open in 2011. But Maisel assured investors that despite these ambitious plans, Marvel is still ruled by "fiscal conservatism."

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  • Sue Herera is a founding member of CNBC, helping to launch the network in 1989. She is co-anchor of "Power Lunch."

  • Tyler Mathisen co-anchors CNBC's "Power Lunch." Mathisen also co-anchors "Nightly Business Report produced by CNBC."

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Kenny Polcari