Genius Brands Provides Letter to Shareholders Following Stan Lee Licensing Deal with Marvel
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genius Brands International, Inc. (“Genius Brands”) (NASDAQ: GNUS), a global brand management company that creates, produces, broadcasts, and licenses entertainment content for children, today provided a business update in the form of a letter to shareholders from the Company’s Chairman & CEO:
Yesterday, we announced a 20 year deal with Marvel Entertainment and the Walt Disney Company, in which we licensed Marvel the rights to use STAN LEE in television, motion pictures, and theme park experiences. We also licensed them the right to create Stan Lee Merchandise and Consumer Products to be sold in the Walt Disney theme parks, cruise ships, and entertainment venues.
We believe this is a transformational transaction for Genius Brands for several reasons. In addition to the license fees from Marvel and ongoing merchandise royalties from Disney, this deal ensures that Stan Lee will remain a fixture in the Marvel universe and Disney theme park experiences for at least the next 20 years. Through digital technologies, VR, and archival footage, fans around the world will once again delight in the magic of this extraordinary man who created endless iconic characters from Spiderman to Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Ant Man, and Silver Surfer, among many others. In fact, Stan Lee created/co-created 14 of the top 40 box office hits of all time, including the #1 Box Office movie of all time, THE AVENGERS ENDGAME. We know that in Marvel’s thoughtful hands, the legacy of this great man, will be represented respectfully and with the dignity and humor that those of us who worked with and loved him would have wanted.
(Artwork by Burton Morris)
MOST IMPORTANTLY, however, as Genius Brands prepares to release never before seen Stan Lee IP, this transaction with Marvel and Disney will help ensure continuous exposure for the upcoming STAN LEE content brand and consumer products created and licensed by Genius Brands on behalf of STAN LEE UNIVERSE, LLC. We have been fortunate to engage Michael Uslan, Executive Producer of the BATMAN franchise and longtime friend and collaborator of Stan, as well as Greg Hildebrand, celebrated artist known for the iconic STAR WARS poster, to lead the storytelling and design of Stan’s last creations, which are moving forward from development to production.
They are part of a larger program that includes retail, consumer products, customized fan experiences, and a broad presence at this year’s San Diego Comicon, in July.
In addition, we will be launching our first STAN LEE NFTs this year, concurrently with the STAN LEE CENTENNIAL occurring on December 28.
As our company grows, Stan Lee will remain a tentpole of value for many years to come and today’s deal with Marvel and the Walt Disney Company will help ensure that legacy continues as we protect the integrity of the brand.
About Genius Brands International
Genius Brands International, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s IP portfolio of family-friendly content features the Stan Lee brand, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Kartoon Channel!; Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal, coming to Kartoon Channel!; Rainbow Rangers on Kartoon Channel! and Netflix; Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, on Netflix and more. Recently, Genius Brands entered into an agreement to acquire Canada’s WOW! Unlimited Media (TSX-V: WOW), which includes 2,500 channels under the Channel Federator Network, and has also made a strategic investment in Germany’s Your Family Entertainment AG (FRA:RTV), one of Europe’s largest distributors and broadcasters of high-quality programs for children and families.
Genius Brands’ Kartoon Channel! is a globally distributed entertainment platform with 100% penetration in the U.S. television market and international expansion with launches in key markets around the world. The channel is available in the U.S. via a broad range of distribution platforms, including Comcast, Cox, DISH, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Apple iOS, Android TV, Android Mobil, Google Play, Roku, YouTube, KartoonChannel.com, Samsung Smart and LG TVs, the JetBlue Inflight platform and more. Genius Brands will soon launch the subscription-based Kartoon Channel! Kidaverse, featuring metaversal content and over 15,000 animated titles.
For additional information, please visit www.gnusbrands.com.
Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability; our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all; our ability to integrate acquired businesses; the potential issuance of a significant number of shares, which will dilute our equity holders; fluctuations in the results of our operations from period to period; general economic and financial conditions; our ability to anticipate changes in popular culture, media and movies, fashion and technology; competitive pressure from other distributors of content and within the retail market; our reliance on and relationships with third-party production and animation studios; our ability to market and advertise our products; our reliance on third-parties to promote our products; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; our ability to protect our intellectual property and those other risk factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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