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How the Fox/Disney $50 Billion Merger Will Impact the Entertainment Industry

What could we see on the big and small screen?

By Matthew BaileyPublished 6 years ago 2 min read
Top Story - December 2017
Although it has been rumored for some time, the official announcement came in mid December that Disney would acquire a majority of 21st Century Fox for an astounding $52.4 billion. This anticipated merger is the second largest in the entertainment industry at roughly half the cost of the AOL-Time Warner merger in 2001, and could have long-lasting impact on the future of Hollywood.

What does this merger mean for the entertainment industry?

The merger of Disney and Fox brings together an entirely new realm of possibilities for the House of Mouse. With this merger, Disney will now control the entertainment divisions of Fox Studios; primarily both the movies and TV studios of Twentieth Century Fox along with most cable networks and international ventures, as well. Fox News and the Fox network will remain out of Disney's control in an attempt to keep the now massive company from holding a monopoly on the entertainment market.

Once the regulatory review is complete and all the paperwork is signed off on, the merger should be complete within 12-18 months, and that leaves many entertainment fans waiting anxiously to see what happens next, especially considering what happened after Disney purchased Lucasfilm and launched a new trilogy and solo films that have taken the world by storm.

So what does Disney control if the merger is approved?

Marvel Comics fans likely have the most to celebrate with this merger, as it brings home several previously Fox-exclusive characters from Marvel's comic canon. With a nearly limitless collection of characters, Disney would be able to develop almost every storyline that they've ever created, since often times heroes/villains from The Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men cross paths. Until now, Marvel has not been able to show the unison of those characters.

Superheroes get a major boost!

Although Disney still doesn't own the rights to every Marvel character that has appeared in the comics, there are only a few stragglers out there, especially after the Sony/Disney deal in 2015 that brought Spider-Man into the MCU even though his ownership is still under Sony Pictures. Two of Fox's most prized franchises, X-Men and TheFantastic Four, will officially be able to mix in with The Avengers across nearly any platform.

And that is where it begins to get interesting when you think about it, considering the success that Marvel Studios has had on the big screen as well as what Marvel TV has accomplished on streaming and cable networks. We could see any number of crossovers across Netflix, Hulu (which Disney will now own the lion's share of) if Disney chooses to focus on the small screen for the majority of the characters, considering that there are currently three major shows about the X-Men in production (Gifted, The Runaways & Legion) along with a few feature films in the works (The New Mutants, Logan sequel, Deadpool 2, Gambit, X-Force & X-Men: Dark Phoenix,

Disney gains control over several other franchises.

Outside of the unification of 98 percent of Marvel Comics characters, this merger would also bring several major franchises under the Mickey Mouse umbrella. Notable franchises include: Alien, Predator, Planet of the Apes and the impending Avatar sequels, among several others. With these new franchises joining under Disney Studios, there is the ability to exploit each of these franchises across all media platforms. Notably, Disney's Animal Kingdom launched a preemptive strike this past May by opening "The World of Avatar," a 12-acre fantasyland, fully immersive with the film's bioluminescent forests and Na'vi aliens. The new park quickly became one of the park's hottest attractions.

Although some of the franchises haven't been met with the acclaim that they once had, if we've learned anything from when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, it is that the House of Mouse has a way of taking something and making it incredible again. After the disappointment with the prequel trilogy of Star Wars films, many fans thought that Star Wars would never again appear on screen. Then Disney announced a slew of six new films, and the first two of the new trilogy have garnered millions of dollars in revenue. It's easy to imagine that the same could be done with any one of the franchises that Fox previously held.

Ultimately, there is still so little known about what the future will hold for the new behemoth in the entertainment industry, but it's safe to say that there is nearly no boundary that can't be crossed now. Perhaps we'll see Firefly rebooted, with Deadpool as the primary villain who is guided by a vision of Emperor Palpatine. The sky is the limit for the House of Mouse.


About the Creator

Matthew Bailey

Husband. Father. Gamer. Cinema Lover. Mix it all together, and there I am. I love all things pop-culture and coffee; but coffee is the best.

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