3. Launching Marvel Studios
Sure, Fox had made some good X-Men movies and Sony had done the same with Spider-Man. But the brain trust at Marvel Comics finally decided to take control of the destiny of their multitudes of other characters in 2006, securing a $500 million nest egg to begin making their own films on their own terms. The results — a string of nine (and counting) interconnected movies spanning an entire fictional universe, not to mention a purchase by Disney — speak for themselves. Now every other studio wants its own version of the Marvelverse…a feat that will be hard to replicate.