Yes, I know this was news a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been busy, and this will be around for a long time, assuming it gets approved…
There’s been a lot of talk lately about one of media conglomerates acquiring a large portion of 21st Century Fox’s media properties, excluding primarily Fox News family, Fox Broadcasting, and Fox’s national sports channels.
Then on Dec. 14th, Disney announced that it would be bringing together Fox’s X-Men with Disney’s Avengers. And that blockbuster Avatar will join the Mouse House – along with the presumed series of sequels. And, of course, it will bring the Alien franchise into the world of Disney. (As one wit on Twitter asked, “Does that make the xeonmorphs Disney Princesses, given that their mommy is the Alien Queen? I might add that I’ve begged the brilliant Lar DeSouza to draw a cartoon of this.)
— Ralph Hanson (@ralphehanson) December 14, 2017
This also raises the question of what in pop culture doesn’t Disney control?
Disney now owns Star Wars, Marvel, Indiana Jones, Disney World and the Simpsons. If they acquire my parent's divorce they will own my entire childhood.
— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) December 14, 2017
The deal is reportedly valued at $52.4 billion, and Disney chairman Bob Iger will stay on with the merged company until at least 2021. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney will buy Fox’s movie and TV studio, the National Geographic and FX cable channels, regional sports networks, and international broadcast networks. It will also give Disney nearly 40 percent of the European satellite service Sky, and the 30 percent of Hulu currently owned by Fox. That will give Disney approximately 60 percent of the streaming service.
Comcast had announced earlier in the week that it was dropping out of fight for 21st Century Fox’s assets.
Who will be hurt or helped by this merger?
- Bloomberg News suggests that this merger is going to be brutal on theater owners:
“If the deal goes through, theater owners could get squeezed. Usually a film’s box-office revenue is split evenly between exhibitors and the studio. But Disney previously has gotten theaters to hand over a larger share—sometimes more than 60 percent—on its biggest, most popular films, such as the Star Wars series.”
- The Los Angeles Times suggests that this will also be hard on the somewhat smaller Paramount and MGM movie studios.
- And consumers? Fans hoping to see X-Men fighting alongside or against the Avengers may get their fantasies fulfilled. Those hoping for more innovative, independent looking films may be disappointed.