Marvel Defenders will attempt a mini-Avengers via Netflix

Disney and Netflix will team on four thirteen-episode series, plus one mini-series. The four series are Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, culminating in an Avengers-style team-up mini-series called The Defenders.

This will be like a mini-version of what was done in the movies with individual Avengers movies (Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor and then the Avengers movie).

Disney CEO Bob Iger called the four properties in the Netflix deal – Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist – “not among the most popular,” adding they “were never going to become feature films.”

The online Hollywood trade goes on to report Iger said that could change if the shows catch on with viewers, making the deal “great for Netflix” and opening “a great opportunity for Marvel to create more brand value…There are more opportunities beyond our platform to produce product for.”

Jessica Jones, based on Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos’ Alias, has been in development as a television project for at least two years, with Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg having written a pilot for ABC and originally been set to serve as executive producer.

In comic book continuity, Jones is married to Luke Cage — a Hero for Hire and former Avenger — who is best friends with Danny Rand, AKA Iron Fist. Movies based on both of those characters had been said to be in development at various points over recent years. Daredevil, meanwhile, has been a project known to be in development since Marvel Studios regained the rights to the character from Fox earlier this year.

Daredevil will debut in 2015, with the remaining series forming what Marvel refers to as “multiple years of programming.”

The series will begin in 2015. In 2016, Netflix will become the exclusive US subscription service for first-run, live-action, and animated movies from all branches of Walt Disney Studios: Disney, Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Disneynature, and Lucasfilm.

Marvel Agents of Shield is on ABC and has about 7 million viewers.

By adding more than 2 million U.S. subscribers and another 1 million elsewhere in the world, Netflix nearly earned back its entire $100 million investment in House of Cards — in under three months. Netflix only needed about 520,834 new users — in two years — to break even on that program

Netflix needed 520,834 people to sign up for a $7.99 subscription for two years to break even. To do that five times every year, then, the streaming TV site would have to sign up 2.6 million more subscribers than they would have.

Netflix beat third quarter 2013 expectations with revenue of $1.11 billion and earnings per share of $0.52. It also hit the high end of its guidance by adding 1.3 million new domestic subscribers, giving it 31.1 million US subscribers and pushing it past rival HBO. Netflix has also invested heavily in international expansion over the last year, launching in Latin America, the UK, and Netherlands. Analysts expected it to grow from 7.75 million last year to between 8.3 and 9 million this quarter. Given the costs of entering new markets, however, this unit was expected to post a loss. Netflix bested this, growing to 9.19 million.

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