Microsoft is a technology company headquartered in Washington State. Founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975, Microsoft has become one of the largest and most successful software companies in the world. While the company is best known for its Windows operating system, Microsoft has also developed a wide range of productivity software applications, game consoles, and even entertainment software. However, there has been one key area of the Microsoft empire that has remained relatively little-explored; superhero movies. Does Microsoft own any superhero movies?
A Short History of Microsoft and Superhero Movies
Microsoft first began to explore the potential of superhero movies around the mid-2000s. In 2006, the company acquired a majority stake in Marvel Enterprises, the then parent company of Marvel Studios – the studio responsible for producing many of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Then in 2007, Microsoft co-sponsored the first Spider-Man 3 movie, alongside Sony Pictures. While both of these moves marked the beginning of Microsoft’s foray into superhero movies, neither ultimately led to any further projects.
Microsoft’s 2021 Superhero Movie Investment
In 2021, Microsoft has made a significant investment into the superhero movie realm, in the form of its partnership with Skydance Media. The multi-year deal sees Microsoft collaborating with Skydance on several upcoming projects that are set to “push the boundaries of visual effects and animation”. However, the terms of the partnership remain largely undisclosed, and there is some uncertainty as to whether or not Microsoft actually owns any of the superhero movies that will be produced as part of the deal.
Will Microsoft Own Any Superhero Movies?
Given Microsoft’s involvement in the Skydance deal, it’s natural to assume that the company owns a portion of the intellectual property associated with the superhero movies that will be produced. However, public statements from both Microsoft and Skydance have failed to confirm this. It is also worth noting that even if Microsoft does hold the rights to some of the superhero movies, only a very small fraction of ownership is likely; the studio ultimately responsible for producing the projects (in this case Skydance) would be expected to own the majority of the rights.
The Impact of Microsoft’s Superhero Movies
Regardless of Microsoft’s actual ownership of the superhero movies, the company’s involvement in the production process is sure to have a considerable impact on the future of the superhero movie genre. Microsoft’s resources and expertise in the areas of visual effects and animation, as well as its long history of investment in the entertainment industry, will almost certainly result in some quite remarkable creations when the superhero movies reach the big screen.
The Benefits of Microsoft’s Superhero Movies
Microsoft’s superhero movies are also likely to have a positive impact on the company itself; creating successful feature films under its brand name could have an enormous benefit to the company’s reputation and awareness. Additionally, superhero movies typically generate a lot of merchandise and related products – a source of revenue that Microsoft could potentially look to capitalize on.
The impact of Microsoft’s superhero movie investment has been the subject of considerable speculation among industry experts. Speaking to Variety magazine, SVP of Television at Allied Global Marketing, Jennifer Pruitt, said: “The move speaks to Microsoft’s increasing investment in IP, as well as its ability to attract big-name talent and studios to collaborate together.” Pruitt went on to note that the company’s involvement in the Skydance deal was “a major power play” and “could have immense potential”.
Analysis and Insights
It is clear that Microsoft’s presence in the superhero movie sphere could have a considerable impact on the genre in the years to come. Given the company’s expertise in visual effects and animation, as well as its history of investment in the entertainment industry, Microsoft is in a strong position to make a real difference in the superhero movie world. Additionally, the potential revenue that could be generated through successfully executed superhero films could be substantial. Ultimately, only time will tell how this all plays out; but for now we can remain hopeful that the relationship between Microsoft and Skydance will lead to something truly exciting.
Competition to Microsoft
Microsoft is not the only company making moves in the superhero movie industry; rival tech giant, Apple Inc., has also been involved in the production and distribution of various superhero-related projects. Most notably, in 2020, Apple released the critically-acclaimed, animated film, ‘Onward’, which featured the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt and grossed over $100 million at the box office. Additionally, Apple has secured the rights to be the primary distributor of several upcoming Marvel projects, including the ‘Shang-Chi’ feature film and the spinoff series, ‘Loki’.
The Impact of Apple’s Activities
Apple’s activities in the superhero movie industry could pose a threat to Microsoft’s planned projects. Apple’s financial resources and strong reputation for innovation are likely to allow it to outspend and outmaneuver Microsoft in many areas of the superhero movie market. Furthermore, the ability to release films exclusively on its own Apple TV+ platform could lead to a successful and profitable venture for the company.
What This Means For Microsoft
The presence of Apple in the superhero movie industry will undoubtedly cause some concern among Microsoft executives. If the company is unable to compete with Apple’s projects, it could be left behind in the superhero movie space. As such, Microsoft must ensure that its superhero movies are of a high quality, and that it can do the necessary marketing to ensure their success. Additionally, the company will need to focus on producing content that appeals to the widest possible audience.