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Disney completes its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s film and television properties

Disney has finally acquired Fox’s film and television assets for approximately $71 billion, reshaping the Hollywood landscape forever. Fox will continue to exist in a limited capacity, as it shifts its focus onto news, business and sports while a number of properties enter Disney’s monopolistic folds.

The historic deal was finalised on March 20 at 12:02am EST, allowing Disney to “provide more appealing high-quality content and entertainment options to meet growing consumer demand; increase its international footprint; and expand its direct-to-consumer offerings.” In particular, Mickey Mouse now has ample content to prepare formidable competition in the streaming world ahead of the Disney+ launch later this year, including:

  • Twentieth Century Fox
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • Fox 2000 Pictures
  • Fox Family
  • Fox Animation
  • Twentieth Century Fox Television
  • FX Productions
  • Fox21
  • FX Networks
  • National Geographic Partners
  • Fox Networks Group International
  • Star India
  • Fox’s shares in Tata Sky
  • Fox’s ownership of Endemol Shine Group
  • Fox’s portion of Hulu

Most famously, Fox-owned Marvel characters in the X-Men and Fantastic Four universes have been reunited with their brethren, allowing for the unlikely appearance of Deadpool in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney also receives the rights to the original 1977 Star Wars to complete its sci-fi franchise, Alien, Predator, Avatar and Planet of the Apes. Television series include massive animations such as The Simpsons and Family Guy, as well as live action comedies like Seth MacFarlane’s highly enjoyable Star Trek parody, The Orville, Modern Family and many more.

“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us—one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.  “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”

Fox has also completed its downsize to focus on the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, and the Fox Televisions Stations Group and its cable service comprised of FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes, and Big Ten Network.

The “Big Six” has now been reduced to the colloquially named ‘Big Five’ now that Fox is out of the Hollywood running, comprised of Warner Bros, Universal, Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures and, of course, Disney. Although no other studio has commented on the acquisition, the remaining four are no doubt concerned over the monopolistic nature of Disney and will tread lightly moving forward.

KitGuru Says: I’m definitely excited to see more Marvel characters handled by the teams at MCU, but I can’t help but express my own concern at the sheer size of Disney at this point. Are there any particular franchises you hope will continue under the Disney banner?  

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