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Media FranchisingCreative License and Collaboration in the Culture Industries$
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Derek Johnson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814743478

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814743478.001.0001

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From Ownership to Partnership

From Ownership to Partnership

The Institutionalization of Franchise Relations

(p.67) 2. From Ownership to Partnership
Media Franchising

Derek Johnson

NYU Press

This chapter argues that media franchising is not just an imperfect vehicle for implementing synergy, but also a set of industrial production relations that emerged outside of its ideals. The histories of synergy and franchising are distinct yet overlapping industrial and cultural developments. Institutional developments within and across film, television, comics, video games, and toys in the 1980s sparked the embrace of multiplied production, institutional partnerships, and exchange across institutional networks. The industrial negotiation with franchising can be traced across at least three distinct moments since its cultural and economic logics began: early 1980s, late 1980s, and late 1990s. The chapter explores these three moments in relation to Marvel Entertainment and its attempts to franchise the X-Men comic book property, as evidenced in trade and popular accounts of industry strategy.

Keywords:   media franchising, synergy, production relations, industrial negotiations, Marvel Entertainment, X-Men comics

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