Hasbro's Magic the Gathering Could Next Blockbuster Franchise

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Hasbro (HAS) has seen success with its Transformers toys on the big screen. Several board game brands owned by the massive toy company haven't fared as well as movies. In a new deal with Twentieth--Century Fox (FOXA), Hasbro will see its card game Magic The Gathering hit the big screen in a potential blockbuster franchise.

Hasbro believes the franchise can be on the scale of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Now obviously that is some lofty expectations, but the card game does have a loyal following and source material that has appeared in comics, books, and video games. The movie will also be written by Simon Kinberg, who has had success with X-Men movies and is currently writing the reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise.

Hasbro acquired Wizard of the Coast, the previous owner of Magic, in 1999. Wizard of the Coast has also seen success with card games based on Pokemon and Star Wars. In 1999, Hasbro paid $325 million to gain the library of card games.

Hasbro's movie success on the big screen has centered around the Transformers and G.I. Joe. Battleship, the most recent Hasbro related movie was considered a huge box office bust. With a budget of $209 million, the movie fell short with $65 million in domestic box office. In international markets, the movie did see a somewhat impressive $237.6 million in box office revenue.

Hasbro continues to see a larger portion of its overall revenue come from its entertainment and licensing business segment. In the most recent third quarter, entertainment and licensing revenue increased 13% to $48.6 million. While that number trails both North American ($735.6 million) and International ($582.7 million) business segments, it was the biggest percentage gainer. Through the first nine months, entertainment revenue is at $114.7 million. The entertainment segment also normally sees higher operating profit margins than the other two segments.

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