Thursday, June 25, 2015

Finally, Marvel Controls the Fate of Spider-Man on Screen

Marvel and Sony may be partners, but only one can be in control. Credit: Sony Pictures.


Welcome to the show notes for issue 37 of +The Full Bleed. This week's news issue goes between the panels to examine the tone of a joint press release issued by Marvel and Sony in which the two companies announced Tom Holland as the new Peter Parker and Jon Watts as director of the next Spider-Man solo film, due in theaters on July 28, 2017.

What's billed as a partnership in the lede of the release comes off much differently when you read the quotes. Specifically:

  • Sony Pictures Chairman Tom Rothman expressed a high degree of confidence in the "Marvel process," which he described as very thorough and the reason Marvel Studios' box office results have been "outstanding."
  • Producer Amy Pascal, who worked directly with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige to choose Holland and Watts, used her time in the release to talk about the need to find a "vibrant, talented young actor" who could bring "Spider-Man's story to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe."
  • In each case, top executives are all but saying that Spider-Man is to be handled by Marvel Studios with Sony's role limited to putting up money for production, marketing, and distribution. If so, great. Not only is that a symbolic win for Marvel but it's also a likely financial win for Sony, especially if the studio's handling of distribution includes getting the biggest cut of proceeds from DVD, Blu-ray and digital download sales, which tend to command extremely high profit margins. (Both The Marvel Movie Report and the DC Movie Report include the impact of home video sales when calculating estimated profit margins.)
Ready for the the issue? Watch now and then add The Full Bleed to your pull list. Thanks for tuning in, and if you like what you see, please share with a friend.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Your Comics Project Needs a Business Plan -- Here's What to Include

Aiming to be among these greats? Write a business plan first. Credit: Sam Howzit via Flickr.
By +Tim Beyers


Welcome to the show notes for issue 36 of +The Full Bleed. This week's business issue goes between the panels to explain what every comics creator should include in their business plan. Specifically:
  • A concept. Just as the script of your comic breaks down the panel-by-panel action, your business plan needs a concept that breaks down the basic plot, the characters, the scope of what's planned (i.e., an ongoing series, a limited series, a one-shot, a graphic novel, etc.), and the team developing it all.
  • A sense of the ideal reader. It's not enough to say that you're creating a horror comic or a superhero comic or a crime comic. Pretend as though you're selling the project like a movie producer and get granular about the type of reader you aim to attract. Find out what else they read, and then explain why they should add you to their stack. What will they get from you that they can't get elsewhere?
  • A financial plan. Again, get granular, starting with your distribution strategy. Will you publish print or digital comics? If the latter, will you stick with a self-hosted webcomic or use the built-in advantages of ComiXology Submit? How will you market your work? Take inventory of all of your costs and then check how your peers price their books. You can always choose to price differently, of course. The goal is to get a rough idea of how many units you'll need to sell in order to break even.
Ready for the issue? Click the video to watch now and then add us to your pull list. You don't want to miss the next industry issue, in which we take a look at the dynamics of the Marvel-Sony relationship as revealed in the announcement of Tom Holland as the new cinematic Spider-Man.

The Full Bleed is a founding member of The Geek Initiative, a collection of blogs teaming up like Voltron to bring you the best news, reviews, and analysis of genre entertainment. Click the banner on the right to learn more.



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Robert Downey Jr. Has Changed Everything For Marvel

Once a B-list character, Iron Man has become the new face of Marvel. Image credit: Marvel.com.


Welcome to the show notes for issue 35 of +The Full Bleed. This week's news issue goes between the panels to explain Marvel's decision to make Iron Man its signature character, billing him ahead of Spider-Man, Captain America, the X-Men, and certainly The Fantastic Four. 

The news came during a recent press conference announcing the planned release of The Invincible Iron Man title this October, post Secret Wars. Listen to this episode of Word Balloon to get the details. Host John Siuntres captures all the juicy comments from writer Brian Michael Bendis and lead artist David Marquez, as well as Publishing VP Tom Brevoort and Editor-in-Chief Alex Alonso. Here are my three takeaways from the conversation:
  • There's a point at which Bendis describes Invincible Iron Man as his take on what Iron Man 4 could have been. As a fan, I love that. As an analyst, it feels like the tail (i.e., Marvel Studios) is finally wagging the dog (i.e., Marvel Comics).
  • Brevoort also weighed in at one point to point out that there needs to be increasing synergy between the comics and the movies. Elevating Iron Man makes sense when you think of how many newer fans and readers associate Robert Downey Jr. with Marvel. (He's right about that.)
  • Correspondingly, there's no point in having Marvel spend resources on the X-books and Fantastic Four if the long-term profit opportunity isn't as rich. Pulling publishing support could also diminish the brand equity of both franchises. Rather than "Marvel official" -- i.e., part of the MCU -- they become like fan fiction, part of an unofficial universe that's neat but otherwise unimportant, magnifying Fox's risk in making new films.
Ready for the rest of the story? Watch now and then add us to your pull list to never miss an issue of The Full Bleed. Thanks for watching, and if you like what you see, please share with a friend.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What Movie Producers Can Teach You About Selling Comics

How do you market Dreadstar? As Star Wars meets Robin Hood. Art by Jim Starlin.

By +Tim Beyers


Welcome to the show notes for issue 34 of +The Full Bleed. This week's business issue goes between the panels to explain how movie producers sell films and how their approach can help you market your own work. Specifically, you should:
  • Combine two relatable concepts can help an audience unfamiliar with your work understand what you're trying to achieve. Think of Dreadstar. While I've no way of knowing how creator Jim Starlin pitched the idea when he first conceived it, I wouldn't be surprised if Star Wars meets Robin Hood was part of the conversation.
  • Provide buyers and backers with a concept that makes it easy to ascribe value to your work. Relating it to other known projects that have seen commercial success can help get the dollars flowing faster. You can also draw distinctions and get the same effect. Consider the case of Super issue 3, an indie comic that's also the most overfunded project of its kind in Kickstarter history. Writer Joshua Crowther pitches the book as a sort antidote to Hollywood tales of super powers in the real world. From the pitch: "I know, I know, there's movies and comics out there with a similar premise (the film Chronicle comes to mind), but the endings always devolve into some super-powered fist-fight ... This will never happen in this series, ever." Interesting, right?
  • Finally, remember to tell your story and not some mishmash thrown together in hopes of cashing in on the hot genre of the moment. Hollywood does this a lot, which may be why so many movies fail to make a box office profit. (Check out the data in the DC Movie Report and the Marvel Movie Report to see the ugly truth for yourself.)
Ready for the issue? Click the video to watch now and then add us to your pull list. You don't want to miss the next industry issue, in which we cover Marvel's decision to turn to a one-time B lister as the new top dog in the Marvel Universe. Look for it tonight!

The Full Bleed is a founding member of The Geek Initiative, a collection of blogs teaming up like Voltron to bring you the best news, reviews, and analysis of genre entertainment. Click the banner on the right to learn more.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Marvel Had to Put The Punisher On Netflix, But Not for the Reason You Think

The Devil tangles with The Punisher in season 2 of the Netflix series. Credit: Marvel.com.
By +Tim Beyers


Welcome to the show notes for Issue 33 of +The Full Bleed. This week's news issue goes between the panels to explain why Marvel's best business move was to put The Punisher on season 2 of Daredevil. Specifically:
  • Genre programming simply does better when it's consumed in chunks. Agents of SHIELD is a good example, routinely showing a 75% increase in viewership in the first week after airing. (Nielsen's full accounting of live+7 winners can be found here.)
  • More recently, in the May 24 report, Game of Thrones enjoyed the largest absolute gain in viewers 18-49 over the live+7 day viewing period (2.0 million) while Orphan Black enjoyed the largest percentage increase (300%).
  • While the darkness of the character is certainly a factor, history also shows that The Punisher isn't a great movie property. Having Jon Bernthal bring the character to life on Netflix allows for the right amount of darkness in a format that also guarantees fans a complete story.
For a full accounting of how Marvel's movies perform, I suggest The Marvel Movie Report. Members of The Geek Initiative get access to the full spreadsheet with studio details, release dates, and estimated production and marketing costs. Sign up now and you'll get a downloadable copy, plus podcasts, interviews, and other exclusives from The 7th Matrix, Geek Legacy, and Sci-Fi Talk. 

Now, ready for the rest of the story? Watch now and then add us to your pull list to never miss an issue of The Full Bleed. Thanks for watching, and if you like what you see, please share with a friend.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The 1 Thing You Must Master to Make Comics Professionally

Curly from City Slickers says to focus on just one thing -- and he's right. Credit: Columbia Pictures.
By +Tim Beyers


Welcome to the show notes for issue 34 of +The Full Bleed. This week's business issue goes between the panels to discuss how movie producers sell films and how their approach can help you market your comics. Specifically:
  • Keeping a schedule and publishing in one place allows fans who like your work to recommend to their friends where and when to find you, because they know new stuff will be there.
  • Also, you need a track record. Ryan Browne turned God Hates Astronauts into a semi-regular webcomic in 2010. Image Comics picked it up in print last year. Katie Cook has been writing and drawing her adorable webcomic, Gronk: A Monster's Story, since April of 2010. Five years later, she has a print deal with Action Lab. Doing the hard work of building audience first -- in one place, and one place only -- CAN pay off.
  • Predictability also forces you to be professional. And that's what you want to be, right? A comics industry professional? Learn to deliver consistently and you'll have won half the battle.
  • For a quick study on audience building, check out Joe Pulizzi's presentation from the recent Authority Rainmaker conference put on by Copyblogger. 
Ready for the issue? Click the video to watch now and then add us to your pull list. You don't want to miss tomorrow's industry issue, in which we cover the changing nature of the Marvel TV universe, and why Netflix is so much more important to its success than Disney's ABC network.

The Full Bleed is a founding member of The Geek Initiative, a collection of blogs teaming up like Voltron to bring you the best news, reviews, and analysis of genre entertainment.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Report: Most DC Comics Movies Are Unprofitable

 Can Cyborg and Green Lantern carry their own movies? Credit: DC Entertainment.
By +Tim Beyers


Welcome to the show notes for Issue 31 of +The Full Bleed, which goes between the panels to examine the quantifiable risk of making new DC Comics movies. Specifically:
  • According to the DC Movie Report, the average film suffers a 0.67% loss at the box office after accounting for production costs, marketing and distribution, and a 50% cut for theaters. 
  • Of the 25 movies tracked, 8 recorded an estimated box office profit. None did so well as Tim Burton's 1989 adaptation, Batman, which scored an estimated 38.66% gross profit margin on box office ticket sales.
  • Steel ranks as DC's worst performer, racking up a staggering $20.47 million loss on just $1.71 million in box office sales.
  • Conversely, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could be the biggest DC film to come around in awhile. The "World's Finest" duo already combine for an estimated 80.76% of DC's worldwide grosses and an estimated 68.85% of home video sales.
I've a full accounting of DC movies in the DC Movie Report. Members of The Geek Initiative get access to the full spreadsheet with studio details, release dates, and estimated production and marketing costs. Sign up now and you'll get the report, plus podcasts, interviews, and other exclusives from The 7th Matrix, Geek Legacy, and Sci-Fi Talk. 

Now, ready for the rest of the story? Watch now and then subscribe to never miss an issue of The Full Bleed. Thanks for watching!