Marvel is one of the most recognizable brands in the comic book industry, owing its fortunes to popular characters like Spider-Man, X-Men and The Hulk. But Marvel’s current success follows a serious slump. In late 1996, after declining sales of comics and trading cards, the company filed for bankruptcy. In 2000, the company released the movie "X-Men" — a huge success, which grossed almost $300 million worldwide. Two years later, "Spider-Man" was released, becoming the top grossing movie of the year. In 2009, Marvel Entertainment was purchased by Disney (NYSE: DIS) for $4 billion. This summer the company released "X-Men: First Class," which has already grossed over $353 million worldwide in theaters.
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