Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Hulk have leaped off the comic book page and onto the big screen, but soon they'll be making the leap to an arena near you, too.
Marvel and Feld Entertainment, Inc. — the company that produces the Disney on Ice Tours, as well Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baileys' "Greatest Show on Earth" — announced a partnership on Wednesday that will allow Marvel's superheroes to hit the road for live-action arena spectaculars.
The shows, which will feature Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Avengers and X-Men uniting to defend the planet from Marvel villains, are expected to begin in July of 2014. Feld Entertainment will launch the production with an 85-city North American tour before going international. Expect state-of-the-art special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial displays and martial arts, amongst "countless" other elements.
“This collaboration with Marvel is a tremendous milestone for our business that will give us access to some of the most iconic and revered Super Heroes ever created," Kenneth Feld, Feld Entertainment's CEO said. "It builds upon our 33-year-long partnership with Disney, Marvel’s parent company."
According to a 2008 New York Times article, that relationship has been mutually beneficial for both parties. While nearly 12.5 million people attended one of Feld's 15 Disney-related productions playing around the world that year (only 12.3 million people bought Broadway tickets the same year), a 10-year deal with Feld Entertainment was estimated to bring Disney $300 million.
A spokesman for Feld Entertainment told TheWrap that the company's shows entertain over 30 million people each year around the world, with "about 12 million" of those annual ticket sales still attributed to Disney productions.
“We are excited to collaborate with Feld Entertainment to bring millions of our Marvel fans around the world a new and authentic way to engage with their favorite characters and villains,” said Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada. “This new live action production will bring the greatest Marvel superheroes from the movie screen and pages of our comic books into a spectacular live tour.