Disney Owns a Minority Stake in Comic Book Publisher BOOM! Studios?

BOOM! Studios publishes the incredibly popular Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic books, a franchise Disney once owned ironically enough. (Credit: BOOM! Studios)

It would appear that Marvel Comics isn’t the only comic book publisher that Disney has an ownership stake in.

BOOM! Studios, publisher of the mega popular Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics and Keanu Reeves’ runaway Kickstarter success BRZRKR, is seemingly owned in part by Disney.

A recent THR news article talking about the situation with writers not receiving their royalty payments from Disney named BOOM! Studios as one of the companies that has allegedly not paid writers in full.

The group lists a number of companies that had been identified as owing money, including three Disney-owned, or part-owned, publishers: Disney Worldwide, Marvel Worldwide (the publishing arm of Marvel Entertainment) and Boom! Studios, in which Disney owns a minority stake. According to the task force, roughly a dozen writers have claimed the royalties are owed by Disney.

This is the first time I’d heard that Disney had a minority stake in BOOM! Studios, so I did a bit of research and that does appear to be the case.

BOOM! had a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox going back to 2013. While that was widely publicized by comics media outlets, what wasn’t as publicized was that part of the ongoing deal included an eventual ownership stake in BOOM!

Fast forward to 2019 and it would appear that Disney has inherited Fox’s stake in BOOM! Studios via the $71 billion merger.

From the LA Times

Boom! Studios was brought into Fox four years ago by Co-Chairman Emma Watts as an idea and IP pipeline to supply the studio with new franchises,” says Stephen Christy, Boom! Studios’ president of development. “What was originally a first-look relationship between Boom! and Fox evolved into the studio taking a minority ownership stake in the publisher in 2017.
Fox’s stake in Boom!, which was founded in 2005 by Ross Richie and Andrew Cosby, will be transferred to Disney. But the two companies have their own history. Boom! briefly published some of Disney’s licensed comics.

Not long after the merger, Disney quietly killed many of Fox’s BOOM! movies in development, including Mouse Guard and Lumberjanes. So it doesn’t appear that Disney has as much faith in the BOOM! properties as Fox had.

Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR is getting a movie and an anime series, but it’s with Netflix, not Disney Plus or Hulu.

Keanu Reeves' BRZRKR made millions on Kickstarter and is headed to Netflix. (Image: BOOM! Studios)
Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR comic book made millions on Kickstarter and is headed to Netflix. (Image: BOOM! Studios)

BOOM! isn’t the only non-Marvel comic book publisher Disney has had an ownership stake in. In 2004, Disney bought CrossGen. While a handful of CrossGen titles were revived briefly at Marvel, Disney has essentially just squatted on the CrossGen IP for years and it’s unlikely they’ll ever do anything meaningful with it.

It’s getting harder and harder to tell who owns what in Hollywood right now. But finding out that Disney low-key owns part of another comic book publisher is a pretty interesting discovery.

[Hat Tip: The Hollywood Reporter]

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