Marvel Entertainment reported stronger than expected profits for 2008, fueled in large part by strong sales of the Iron Man DVD.
Net sales for the company were $224 million, up from $109.3 million for the fourth quarter. That powered the year’s net sales to $676 million, up from $485 in 2007.
Results were up for all the company’s major divisions, licensing, publishing and film production.
The company is looking to animation to play a big role in building its brands in 2009. Marvel pointed in particular to the success of Wolverine and the X-Men, currently airing the first 26 of a planned 52 episodes on Nicktoons, and the upcoming Iron Man: Armored Adventures series, due to air in the second quarter also on Nicktoons.
Marvel also has 8 half-hour episodes of a Black Panther animated series set to air on BET in the second quarter and is self producing two new series, Super Hero Squad and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, with Film Roman for premieres in late 2009 and 2011 respectively.
The company also has set February 2010 for the premiere of the long-awaited Broadway musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, directed by Julie Taymor and featuring music by Bono and The Edge of U2.