Since December 2017, the public has been waiting to see whether Disney will officially acquire 21st Century Fox, a company that brought us Alien, Simpsons, and The X-Files, just to drop a few names. Well, a little over a year later, $71.3 billion merger is complete and Disney has yet again enlarged itself with another big company as it did with Pixar, Marvel and Lucas Film.
And of course, people now wonder what will happen to some of the contents that Fox has been creating for years. Basically, Disney now owns the rights to X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool characters which makes you wonder will it unite the Marvel franchises and add them to one of the Feige’s phases. This merger will definitely boost the streaming service Disney+ that is planned to start later this year. With strong franchises under its wings, Disney’s streaming service will definitely attract subscriptions and turn into a serious competition to Amazon and Netflix.
But that is not all. By acquiring 21st Century Fox, Disney will be able to obtain valuable information on consumers and their viewing habits. This will give the company a clearer picture of the advertising of its products, as well as what kind of products to create for TV, theatre and streaming viewers. Basically, already rich Disney will increase its wealth, but also the control over the movies and TV shows that are being produced from start to end.
While this is a good sign that X-Men will finally make an appearance in the Avengers, Fox employees may not be so inclined to be joyous. Most likely, thousands of employees from Fox will get fired due to duplication in Fox and Disney staff. On Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger sent a memo to all employees, old and new.
“I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us, that closing the deal was the finish line rather than just the next milestone. What lies ahead is the challenging work of uniting our businesses to create a dynamic global entertainment company with the content, the platforms, and the reach to deliver industry-defining experiences that will engage consumers around the world for generations to come,” said the memo. “Our integration process will be an evolution, with some businesses impacted more than others. We’ve made many critical decisions already, but some areas still require further evaluation. We may not have answers to all of your questions at this moment but we understand how vital information is, and we’re committed to moving as quickly as possible to provide clarity regarding how your role may be impacted.”
Without a doubt, Disney has gotten some big franchises under its wing by acquiring Fox. Besides the already mentioned titles here, it got the rights to the original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope from 1977. Also, Family Guy, American Dad, The Orville, Modern Family and Planet of the Apes belong to Disney now as well, but so does Titanic which means that the company can make Titanic 2 if it feels like it. Another James Cameron’s franchise now belongs to Disney, and that’s Avatar and the company is already working on a theme park. Since Disney now owns FX, American Horror Story also belongs to it and the franchise was already renewed for two more seasons.
Movie studios like 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight, networks like FX and National Geographic Channel also belong to Disney now, but not Fox TV network. And when it comes to that Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu, it belongs to Disney now too, which means that the company now has 60 percent in total since it already owned 30. When it comes to Fox animation studio Blue Sky Studios which created Ice Age, Disney said it will keep the company but how it will fit with Disney Animations and Pixar it’s still unclear.
There are thousands of titles which now belong to Disney and it remains to be seen what will the company do with them. Maybe we will finally get a real Alien movie with Xenomorphs and possibly Ripley, besides Ridley Scott’s prequels. We may even get more X-Files, but that is a farfetched wish. Whatever the future may bring, Disney now owns almost any big franchise you can name and only time will tell how much of it is good and how much of it bad for the viewers, movie industry, streaming services and all other interested parties in the entertainment business.