Well, it finally happened. The Disney/Fox merger was approved and finalized Friday. Putting the final touches on a mega deal that impacts all corners of the media universe. The $71.3 billion, yes billion, dollar merger will see Disney acquire 20th Century Fox film and TV studios, Fox’s entertainment cable networks and its international assets. The deal passed Friday after a vote between Disney and Fox’s special shareholders in New York. Shareholders voted on the deal after Comcast dropped it’s $65 billion dollar bid earlier this week.
What’s All Included?
Disney acquired all of 20th Century Fox. That includes the TV and movie studios. The TV studio deal includes FX, Nat Geo, Star India. These should help Disney branch out with other content. The biggest thing I think most people are overlooking is Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu that was in the deal. This is a giant foothold for Disney on Hulu, after they already held their own share of the company. In my opinion this sets up Disney to shift Hulu into a Disney exclusive streaming service.
Fox held back some of it’s properties as well. What is known as “New Fox”, Fox News, Sports 1 & 2, and Fox Business. After the Justice Department blessed the merger. Only on the condition that the regional Fox Sports were sold rather than go to Disney. This opens the door to be sold to another buyer, or be kept in the Fox family of networks.
What does it mean for Disney?
This could be the beginning of something amazing, or the end of an era. Properties like Aliens, Predator, Planet of the Apes and Avatar are now under the Disney umbrella. This allows them to make the type of movies we’ve always wanted, but it also could spell the ending of some of these franchises.
The real concern is if the company sees value in the franchises. Fox has some great things just lying around that haven’t been done right in years, much like the Star Wars universe when Disney acquired it. If they put the weight of the mouse behind some of these movies, they could make some special things. But, if Disney cannot see a way to use the properties, they may just be sold off, or even buried. If we want to keep some of the big named Fox products, we will have to be vocal about our want to see them continued.
Marvel Studios is Partying Tonight
Still, we haven’t talked about he real winners outta all of this, Marvel Studios. Years after they sold off movie rights to keep the company afloat, they have still been chasing down all their characters. As a wing of Disney, they have now acquired the rights to the rest of their major characters. Besides the few Sony still holds some control over, Marvel Studios finally has every character and world to play with.
A little team called the X-Men ring a bell? What about Deadpool? Now they are able to appear in a MCU movie whenever the studio feels necessary. This is even leaving out the big name outta all of it to me, The Fantastic Four. Who after 3 failed attempts needed to go home to the place that understands them. The first family of Marvel is back, and will be part of the MCU at some point, which leads us into a longer, more complex MCU.
Now, just like the other properties, we have to be vocal about what we want to see. Characters like Deadpool could be toned down. But wouldn’t that weaken the character? The audience showed we loved an R-rated superhero film and losing them all because Disney doesn’t want them in the MCU would be a shame. Remember, an R-rated Wolverine film was better than two PG-13 ones.