Ike Perlmutter holds the reins of superheroes at Marvel

Walt Disney Co.'s acquisition of Marvel Entertainment gave it the Hulk, Iron Man and other superheroes to fuel summer blockbusters for years to come.

It also got Ike Perlmutter.

Marvel's chief executive is hardly a household name. But Disney's purchase of the comic book publisher made Perlmutter one of the largest individual shareholders in the entertainment conglomerate, giving him special powers all his own.

Superheroes are big business in Hollywood, accounting for three of the top-grossing films in the U.S. this year: Marvel's "The Avengers," "The Dark Knight Rises" and"The Amazing Spider-Man." At a time when other expensive movie gambles such as"John Carter" and"Battleship" bombed, Disney's decision to pay $4 billion for Marvel in 2009 seems inspired.

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-- Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times


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