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'Ant-Man' Movie Exhibits Marvel's Strengths

William Bias profile picture
William Bias


  • Ant-Man shows that Walt Disney’s Marvel is as adept at dialogue as it is action.
  • Ant-Man dominated the box office on its opening weekend.
  • Ant-Man keeps the Marvel brand alive between major tent pole movies.

When my wife and I went to see Ant-Man I was skeptical of the plot. I was thinking, how can Walt Disney (NYSE: NYSE:DIS) and its Marvel studios spin an excellent story out of a relatively minor character in the Marvel Universe? Would anyone care about such a minor character?

Full disclosure here-I own shares in Walt Disney, which in essence makes me a part owner of the company, compelling me to take an interest in the financial success of this film. When I watched the film, I was delighted by the depth, reach and underlying message of the story. I came away with the feeling that Marvel's formula for success didn't waiver, with reservations. Here's why.

Excellent story quality

I have to confess that Avengers: Age of Ultron failed to impress me. The movie overwhelmingly exhibited what I call flash action scenes - quick, short scenes with a great deal of action. There were too few moments of meaningful dialogue for my taste. However, as a shareholder I didn't argue with the movie's nearly $1.4 billion in box office receipts. Clearly, Walt Disney knew better than I how to cater to the masses.

By contrast, Ant-Man was a slower moving motion picture. Ant-Man demonstrated the recipe of a well-written story. The movie had a moral undertone, and relationship dynamics, mixed with a dose of action thrown in here and there. In addition, it touched bases with other parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which strengthened audience anticipation of other movies and should bode well for Walt Disney shareholders.

My delight turned to worry from a shareholders standpoint when I realized that Ant-Man didn't contain the constant and consecutive action packed scenes found in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

I thought, "This movie will flop big time."

Dialogue not obsolete yet

This article was written by

William Bias profile picture
I have been analyzing stocks since 1992 and a freelance writer since 2012.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long DIS. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (19)

bently profile picture
Meanwhile, DIS shares are still looking good. Though the P/E ratio has been on a steady climb up along with the price since the second half of 2013, technical indicators still look good and there are at least 11 analysts giving it a strong buy.
No one is saying "sell", though there are about a half-dozen "holds". The P/E bothers me a little but I've nevertheless added to my holdings. The Disney team sure knows its business.
William Bias profile picture
Hi bently,

The stock has corrected some since I wrote this article. Maybe now would be a time to buy.

Thanks for reading.

Jake Blues profile picture
Ant-Man is my 3rd favorite movie in the Marvel universe behind the first Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. It's been hit after hit for Marvel/Disney and soon it's going to be hit after hit from the Star Wars universe.
flockof4 profile picture
That's what I'm waiting for. After Lucas' most recent S.W. trilogy the franchise is in need of a kick start. I'm hoping they nail it because I was not impressed with those last three. Also would be good for DIS and my stock too of course!
William Bias profile picture
Hi Jake Blues,

I agree with you on that sentiment.

William Bias profile picture
Agree flockof4!

Bias. That's a funny last name. Anyway, I think that you're using the word "dominated" too loosely. Being number one at the box office and domination are two different things.
William Bias profile picture
I will exercise greater prudence in the use of my adjectives in the future.

William Bias is my real name by the way. I use it to foster transparency.

Thanks for reading.

William Aaron Bias
KingofKings profile picture
Haven't seen it yet. Don't get out much, but will try this weekend. The balance of action and plot sounds like Rocketeer a little bit. Exciting and entertaining. Thanks for the nice and informative article. Long DIS, as well.
William Bias profile picture
Appreciate your readership!

Wasn't expecting much but went to see it with a buddy. Very impressed. Excellent casting and special effects. Another Stan Lee miracle for DIS!
William Bias profile picture
I agree.

Thanks for reading.

moseharper profile picture
Good article. Too many movies have no story, no plot, no moral- just screaming and FX. Mad Max: Fury Road was a continuity of special effects but the story was inane. If that trips your trigger, knock yourself out. Ant Man had just enough FX to keep it interesting, but the story line itself was the key addition. I do believe this will eventually be a fairly decent money maker for DIS and may even spawn an Ant Man II.
The attendees seemed to really enjoy it and were very interested in the credits. Thumbs up here.
You're bashing Mad Max? That was one of the best action movies of the last five years...the story wasn't that delved out but it was acceptable with good, strong characters top to bottom.
moseharper profile picture
You must be kidding. That was the worst movie I have seen in years. Go there, come back here, die. Briliant.
William Bias profile picture
Thanks for read moseharper.

Leo Rotter profile picture
Re: By contrast, Ant-Man was a slower moving motion picture.

Yes, William, we also enjoyed the way the movie developed. We didn't need heavy action sequences before digging into our popcorn and got plenty of excitement, nice graphics and a little girl that wasn't screaming all the time (as in 'War of the Worlds' 2005). Too many action films wear you down with overly long car chases (that aren't 'Bullitt') and endless battling bots. Antman was nicely balanced with humor and surprises.

Disney hasn't lost a step. Thanks for your review.
From what my friends tell me Ant Man was not released in China. All you longs should remember Disney success in China is not a sure thing if political winds change.
William Bias profile picture
Hi NY2LA1,

Political risk is a legitmate concern in investing in global enterprises.

Thanks for reading.

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