Gina Schock from The Go-Go's turns 52 today. Enjoy this vintage video from a Baltimore television channel doing a story on their local hero. Happy Birthday, Gina!
The Walt Disney Co. is punching its way into the universe of superheroes and their male fans with a deal announced Monday to acquire Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion, bringing characters such as Iron Man and Spider-Man into the family of Mickey Mouse and "Toy Story."
The surprise cash-and-stock deal sent Spidey senses tingling in the comic book world. It could lead to new rides, movies, action figures and other outlets for Marvel's 5,000 characters, although Marvel already was aggressively licensing its properties for such uses.
The deal won't have benefits right away, and Disney stock sank on the news. Disney expects a short-term profit hit, and Marvel characters from X-Men to Daredevil are locked up in deals with other movie studios and theme parks. But Disney's CEO, Robert Iger, promised an action-packed future.
"`Sparks will fly' is the expression that comes to mind," Iger told analysts.
Stan Lee, the 86-year-old co-creator of "Spider-Man" and many more of Marvel's most famous characters, said he was thrilled to be informed of the marriage Monday morning.
"I love both companies," he said. "From every point of view, this is a great match."
The deal is expected to close by the end of the year and marks Disney's biggest acquisition since it purchased Pixar Animation Studios Inc., the maker of "Up" and "Cars," for $7.4 billion in stock in 2006.
Marvel would follow another storied comic book publisher into the arms of a media conglomerate. DC Comics, the home of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, was bought by Warner Bros. — now part of Time Warner Inc. — in 1969.
Buying Marvel is meant to improve Disney's following among men and boys. Disney acknowledges it lost some of its footing with guys as it poured resources into female favorites such as "Hannah Montana" and the Jonas Brothers.
"Disney will have something guys grew up with and can experience with their kids, especially their sons," said Gareb Shamus, whose company Wizard Entertainment Group runs several of the Comic-Con conventions around the nation.
Marvel TV shows already account for 20 hours per week of programming on Disney's recently rebranded, boy-focused cable network, Disney XD, and that looks likely to increase, Iger said. The shows are "right in the wheelhouse for boys," he said.
There will be some lag before Marvel's trove of characters are fully developed at Disney, because of licensing deals Marvel has with other studios.
For example, Sony Corp.'s Columbia Pictures is developing the next three "Spider-Man" sequels, starting with "Spider-Man 4" set for a May 2011 release. News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox has the long-term movie rights to the "X-Men," "Fantastic Four," "Silver Surfer" and "Daredevil" franchises.
Both studios maintain those rights in perpetuity unless they fail to make more movies.
Separately, Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures has a five-picture distribution deal for Marvel-made movies, the first of which will be "Iron Man 2" set for release next May. Paramount said it expects to continue working with Marvel and Disney.
General Electric Co.'s Universal Studios has an attraction called Marvel Super Hero Island in Orlando, Fla., that will stay in existence as long as Universal wants to keep it there and follows the contract terms, Universal said.
Disney said it will honor and re-examine Marvel's licensing deals upon expiration and may extend the profitable ones. Iger noted that when it bought Pixar, that company also had third-party licensing agreements that eventually expired, allowing the companies to move forward together.
Despite beginning to make its own movies, starting with "Iron Man" last year, licensing remained a key driver of Marvel's $206 million in profit and $676 million in revenue last year. Iger said Disney could give Marvel broader global distribution and better relationships with retailers to sell Marvel products.
However, analyst David Joyce of Miller Tabak & Co. noted that the $4 billion offer was at "full price."
Marvel shareholders will receive $30 per share in cash, plus 0.745 Disney shares for every Marvel share they own. That values each Marvel share at $50, a 29 percent premium over Friday's closing stock price. The final ratio of cash and stock will be adjusted to ensure Disney stock makes up at least 40 percent of the final offer.
Marvel shares shot up $9.72, or 25 percent, to close at $48.37 on Monday. Disney shares fell 80 cents, or 3 percent, to $26.04.
Disney investors were probably unhappy that the deal will reduce earnings per share in the short term and might not turn positive until the company's 2012 fiscal year. Disney's earnings per share will drop partly because the company will issue 59 million new shares, and partly because Marvel plans to release two costly blockbusters, "Thor" and "The First Avenger: Captain America" in 2011. DVD sales of those films likely won't roll in until fiscal 2012.
Disney said the boards of both companies have approved the transaction, but it will require an antitrust review and the approval of Marvel shareholders.
If it works out, Marvel's chief executive, Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter, 66, will pocket a hefty payday. He snatched Marvel assets out of bankruptcy in 1998, in a deal that valued the company at around $450 million including debt, outmaneuvering investors Carl Icahn and Ronald Perelman. His 37 percent stake in Marvel is now worth about $1.5 billion.
"Sparks will fly" indeed. Disney has been acquiring companies and characters over the last few years like Pixar, Power Rangers and The Muppets because, quite simply, they can't come up with anything good on their own. Does anyone other than the people getting rich off this deal think this is a bad idea? DC Comics is owned by Warner Bros and look at how horrible their comic books are now. And do they really think Spider-Man readers are now going to watch Mulan? Sing along with me, M-I-C, see 'ya Marvel. K-E-Y, why? Because this sucks.
"Whereas Hostel was for kids, Grotesque is for adults. This is billed as the "cruelest Japanese splatter movie ever" and it truly lives up to that billing. It is no small relief that the film lives up to its movie title, a torture porn genre that has largely taken over the horror field. No CGI effects here, just sadistic violence that rarely flinches away, use of excellent makeup and prosthetics and shot very convincingly. Needless to say, in the finest tradition of Japanese gore cinema, the plot is minimal, with a young couple played by AV actress Nagasawa Tsugumi and Kawatsure Hiroaki (recently in "OneChanbara") being snatched off the street, only to wake up shackled in a grimy basement. Without even having the decency to explain why, a particularly sadistic madman (Osako Shigeo) proceeds to degrade, torture and mutilate them. This film is not for the faint of heart."
For their special day, two Norfolk couples decided to turn to the Stone Age for inspiration and recreated the children's cartoon show The Flintstones by dressing up its main characters.
With 165 guests dressed as cavemen and women, two best men dressed as dinosaurs, and a spectacular tiered wedding rock cake, both Wilma and Betty entered the ceremony to the traditional organ sound of Wagner's Bridal March.
However, this was quickly replaced by an organ version of The Flintstones theme tune.
Mrs Bean, nee Thurston, who lives in Grange Close, Hoveton, said: “It was a fantastic day and all the guests made such an effort.
“We had so much fun and the registrars were absolutely brilliant.
“We've all been married before so we didn't want the traditional white wedding.”
The couples are close, as the new Mrs Noble, of Starston in South Norfolk, is Mr Bean's sister, and the idea was borne out of a fun stay at Alton Towers theme park, when they joked about Mr Noble laughing like Barney Rubble and ended up calling each other by the names of the four main characters.
Mrs Bean, 36, said: “We have been criticised by some people as not taking the wedding seriously, but we did take our vows very seriously.
“Some people out there don't agree with it, but a lot of people enjoyed it and agreed with what we decided we wanted to do.”
The release of 1983's Return of the Jedi saw Princess Leia Organa captured by Jabba the Hutt, and forced to wear the now famous "Metal Bikini" that has become a cultural icon, one that has inspired fan websites and seen numerous modern film and TV references. As it turns out, that bikini was the last thing Jabba the Hutt ever saw! Cast in high quality poly-stone resin no detail was over looked; from costume details, Leia's braids and the arduously fashioned Vibro Ax in our Princesse's hands. This strictly limited edition collectible comes hand numbered, complete with a matching certificate of authenticity.
In the year 20XX, scientifically created zombies roam the world in record numbers. Despite this, Aya is determined to track down her father's killer, a person who was once close to her. With sword in hand and wearing nothing but her trademark bikini and cowboy hat, she sets off to settle the score. Aya is joined on her path to vengeance by the chubby Katsuji and the gun-toting Reika. Together, they hack, slash, and shoot their way through a sea of the undead to reach the final showdown with a mad scientist and the destined duel with Aya's own sister.
"When I first spinned that hoop around my waist, I felt like I never felt before. It was new for me to move without thinking about any other things. When I'm hooping, I just concentrate on the sport, I don't think about school or friends. When I'm stressed I just have to pick up my hoops, and after a few minutes I can think clear about everything.
From the first moment, hooping gave me a feeling of happiness and maybe of freedom. I built confidence, cause I knew that I was something "special" now - In Austria you can't find many other Hoopers. I lost weight, but that wasn't the most important thing. The most important thing is, that I've got a passion now - I know that Hula Hoop is the thing what I'm made for."
"I had a lot of fun with this, especially since so many of the movie and tv show details lined up — the colors, the bike, the frilly lace. I’m also pretty sure Batman played Prince’s father in Purple Rain, but it’s been 24 years since I saw it and I did a lot of drugs that night. Then I crashed my dad’s Porsche before taking my best friend to the prom and winning the All-Valley Championship. That was quite a year, let me tell you."
Accompanying the new material will be a disc of Kiss greatest hits re-recorded by the original lineup and previously available in Japan, as well as a DVD filmed at a concert earlier this year in Buenos Aires. The cover was designed by artist Michael Doret, whose previous Kiss credit is 1976's "Rock and Roll Over."
Kiss plans to tour extensively to promote "Sonic Boom," but only two dates have been announced so far: September 25 at Detroit's Cobo Hall, where the group recorded its breakthrough "Kiss Alive!" album and portions of "Kiss Alive II"; and a Halloween show at the Voodoo Experience festival in New Orleans City Park.
“Dear Batman: We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in Bat-detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is an archer, and a speedster, and a swimmer, a princess, and an acrobat. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Teen Titans.”
Thank you, John Hughes. Rest in peace.