Disney Acquires Distribution Rights to Four Marvel Films From Paramount

       By Nathalie Tadena 

    Walt Disney Co. (DIS) said it has acquired all of the distribution rights previously held by Viacom Inc.'s (VIAB, VIA) Paramount Pictures for four Marvel Studios films, adding to the distribution rights it has already bought from Paramount.

    The deal covers distribution rights for Marvel's "Iron Man," "Iron Man 2," "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" films. Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.

    Disney said that Paramount was paid for the transfer of the distribution rights and will continue to honor existing distribution commitments. All other distribution activities will be transitioned to Disney over the next several months, the company said.

    Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment for more than $4 billion in 2009 and purchased the marketing and distribution rights for Marvel's "The Avengers" and "Iron Man 3" from Paramount a year later. Under that agreement, Paramount was to get at least $115 million for stepping aside on those two movies, which are among the five highest-grossing movies of all time.

    In May, Disney reported a 32% increase in net income for its fiscal second quarter, driven by significant growth at its theme parks, continued strength from the ESPN cable network and newfound stability at its film studio. On Monday, Disney said Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger will remain CEO until 2016, one year later than previously planned.

    Disney shares were off by 54 cents to $63.38 in recent trading. The stock is up 27% since the start of the year.

    Write to Nathalie Tadena at nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com