Paramount Pictures has signed a deal to distribute the next five Marvel Studios films: the two Iron Man sequels, Thor, The First Avenger: Captain America and The Avengers.
Paramount distributed Iron Man, Marvel’s first independent production, which earned $574 million worldwide.
News of the agreement was broken early this afternoon by Hollywood gossip columnist Nikke Finke, who has since updated with official confirmation from Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore and Marvel Studios Chairman David Maisel.
“Paramount is an excellent partner and an outstanding global distributor,” Maisel said in a press release. “Through our experience on Iron Man, Paramount has demonstrated a passion and ability to release Marvel properties theatrically, allowing us to focus on making great movies for the largest audience possible.”
Presumably, the distribution deal will carry the partners through 2012; although the third Iron Man film isn’t yet scheduled, Marvel’s prime release spots for 2011 are filled by Captain America and The Avengers.
Update: Variety notes that the new deal helps to fill holes in Paramount’s distribution schedule left by DreamWorks’ departure from the studio.