The news broke today that Disney has paid for the marketing and distribution rights to two upcoming Marvel films having acquired them from Paramount. One of them is The Avengers and the other is Iron Man 3 which the studio made official in the press release. Iron Man 3 will release on May 3rd 2013.
The first two Iron Man films also released in early May essentially marking the start to the summer box office season. Disney also now holds the marketing and distribution rights to The Avengers which hits theaters on May 4th 2012.
Walt Disney Co. bought Marvel Entertainment last year for $4 billion. Getting the rights to the final two Marvel films that were held by Paramount means Disney can leverage the properties with their TV networks, consumer products, and even their theme parks. Next year’s Thor and Captain America remain with Paramount who had already begun marketing efforts for the films.