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Marvel marketing will push “Cap” past “Potter”

By G. Clay Whittaker While the box office blockbusters “Captain America” and “Harry Potter are sparring for first place, the real revenue question is who makes the most in tie-ins and royalties.

Yes, “HP7-2” has videogames, merchandising, and a loyal fan base. But it doesn’t have Comic-Con, Harley-Davidson or donuts — all part of Marvel’s brilliantly inclusive web of publicity.

None of this is really a secret. Forbes ran a story from The AP about the patriotic publicity pushes the studio has made in the lead-up to “Captain America” hitting theatres. And the L.A. Times picked up on the international marketing secret behind the “First Avenger” subtitle that had me scratching my head a year ago.

“Harry Potter” fans may not need this, but it’s clear what Marvel has over the wizard wonder of the screen: legacy. Captain America has decades of content, marketing, and fan-base development that “Harry Potter” doesn’t. And all of this has been brought seamlessly into the digital age, and new fans are perfectly poised to gain access to hundreds of untold stories. Rowling can’t compete with the content.

With digital comics available tracing back to the hero’s origin, a wide range of Marvel Universe tie-ins, and plenty of patriotic attachments over years of history that give him relevance, Captain America is just better suited to be this summer’s hero.

And it doesn’t hurt that Cap has Muppets. Everyone loves muppets.

So while wands may be flicking in backyards across America, what’s really going to stand out is the red, white and blue shield sailing through the air like a Frisbee.

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