Netflix is buying Millarworld, the comics publishing house behind titles like “Kingsman” and “Kick-Ass,” with the intention of creating films, series and kids’ shows.
Millarworld was founded by Mark Millar, who will continue to work on new stories and characters under the Netflix name.
"As creator and re-inventor of some of the most memorable stories and characters in recent history, ranging from Marvel's The Avengers to Millarworld's Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Wanted and Reborn franchises, Mark is as close as you can get to a modern day Stan Lee," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. "We can't wait to harness the creative power of Millarworld to Netflix and start a new era in global storytelling."
The terms of the deal were not revealed but Netflix said that this is its first-ever acquisition. Netflix has of course made lots of content acquisitions but here it is buying an entire company, one that has helped spawn films series that have raked in more than $1 billion worldwide at the box office.
"This is only the third time in history a major comic book company has been purchased at this level," said Millar in a statement. "I'm so in love with what Netflix is doing and excited by their plans. Netflix is the future and Millarworld couldn't have a better home."
For Netflix, buying Millarworld seems logical given the SVOD’s deep ties to Marvel, where Millar spent eight years.
The acquisition comes shortly after Netflix reported its second-quarter earnings and exceeded expectations for subscriber growth.
Netflix added 5.2 million new subscribers during the second quarter. In the U.S. it added 1.07 million and internationally it added 4.14 million. The total for Netflix was 2 million more than the 3.2 million it predicted it would add this quarter.
“In Q2, we underestimated the popularity of our strong slate of content which led to higher-than-expected acquisition across all major territories,” wrote Netflix, adding that the 5.2 million new subscribers was a record for the second quarter and that subscriber growth was up 21% to 10.2 million for the first six months of the year.