Is Disney Thanos?
The price we might have paid for the privilege!
On July 27, 2018 Disney confirmed its 71.3 billion dollar merger with Fox Studios. Across the globe, beloved geeks, nerds, and comic book lovers danced and cheered as the merger means that the Fantastic Four might finally get a good film adaption and the X-Men can take their rightful place alongside the Avengers in the MCU! But while that is all good for the fans, I am here to discuss why acquiring these two IP's may have cost us more than we bargained for.
Even before a merger between Disney and Fox was even conceived, Disney was the big bully in middle school pushing theaters against lockers and taking their lunch money. Between Star Wars, the MCU, Pixar, and their own IP Disney had a lot of money and a lot of screen time in theaters every month throughout the year. They made over 6.4 billion dollars with just eight films in 2017, but a big bulk of that was made from the stranglehold they put on movie theaters. For a theater to show a Disney movie, they have to sign an agreement in which Disney get 65 percent of the money made from ticket sales compared to the 55 to 60 percent cut most films get. Along with that, you are required to show it on your largest screen for a minimum of four weeks or else Disney adds a 5 percent penalty. This is a really big blow to even franchise movie theaters like AMC, but independent cinemas who have limited negotiating power and limited screen space are hurting the most.
Along with this deal, creativity took a back seat in the paperwork that put together. There are film creators in Hollywood who are daring and love to take risk and the audience benefits from that as we see with great movies such as Independence Day and The Shape of Water, but with Fox now under their belt why take chances with an unknown film and not just make a movie with a following and that is guaranteed to make a cool billion such as Black Panther? With this deal, Disney now owns a lot of Fox's IP ranging from Die Hard to Doctor Dolittle. These films have a following and an already proven success in the box office so films like these are going to be rolled out first while something new and creative will be lucky if it ever sees the light of day. Disney already owns 40 percent of the market and has Thanos snapped its fingers on anyone who could have been a risk. With its fingers in Netflix and Hulu and now Fox, Disney has become a legalized monopoly, because it's now illegal if you become so big that no other business could oppose you.
Jobs and a secure paycheck have also been tagged onto this heavy price tag. It is estimated that around 10,000 jobs or more will be lost due to this merger. Now if you have Disney or Fox on your resume, it is likely another film studio will be happy to take you, but with Fox out of the way that is one less place people can go looking for work and competition in the industry will become more Hunger Games-like than it already is. With all this power there is nothing stopping Disney from telling its employees, "print what we want you to print, say what we want you to say, and be a good boy because where else are you going to go work?"
Trust me, I am a nerd myself and I can't wait to welcome the X-Men to the MCU with open arms, but with Disney Thanos snapping its fingers on theaters, movies, and jobs, I can't help but think of the price we might have paid for the privilege!