- The Disney-Fox deal closed on Wednesday, meaning Disney now owns Fox’s film studio and many of its television assets.
- Disney is already dominant over the box office with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and “Star Wars” movies, and now owns popular Fox movie franchises like “X-Men” and “Avatar.”
Disney’s reign over Hollywood isn’t going to slow down any time soon.
The Disney-Fox merger officially closed on Wednesday, meaning Disney now owns Fox’s film studio and many of its television assets. Disney bought Fox last year in a massive $US71 billion deal.
The Mouse House ruled the box office in 2019 with “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Black Panther,” and “Incredibles 2.” Now, Disney is in possession of even more popular movie franchises to cement its place as the box-office ruler for years to come.
Disney’s already-dominant collection of assets has raked in billions of dollars for the company under CEO Bob Iger’s leadership. They include some of the most popular, highest-grossing film franchises of all time, such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pixar’s animated movies, and the “Star Wars” series.
Below are 14 major film franchises that Disney now owns:
Disney built itself on classic hand-drawn Disney fairy tales like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Cinderella.” In recent years, Disney Animation has seen a revival in popular CGI-animated movies like “Zootopia,” “Frozen,” and “Moana.” Later this year, “Frozen 2” hits theatres.
After John Lasseter’s exit, Jennifer Lee is in charge of Disney Animation Studios. Lasseter his role as Chief Creative Officer last year (in which he oversaw both Disney and Pixar Animation Studios) after being accused of sexual harassment and admitting to “missteps.” Lee has directed “Frozen” and its upcoming sequel.
Disney discovered with 2014’s “Maleficent” and 2015’s “Cinderella” that remaking its classic animated movies could result in big box-office numbers. Since then, “The Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast” have gotten the live-action treatment and raked in huge sums of money. This year, Disney will release remakes of “Dumbo,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King.”
Disney bought animation studio Pixar in 2006 in one of Bob Iger’s very first major acquisitions as CEO. Since then, two Pixar movies – “Toy Story 3” and “Up” – have been nominated for best picture Oscars. While the studio has been relying more frequently on sequels rather than original ideas in recent years, its movies are still highly successful. Last summer’s “Incredibles 2” has made over $US1 billion worldwide.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Disney bought Marvel Entertainment, including its film studio, in 2009, and since then the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become the highest-grossing franchise of all time. Last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” crossed $US2 billion worldwide, and “Captain Marvel” is currently on its way to break $US1 billion. The “Infinity War” sequel, “Avengers: Endgame,” is expected to break even more box-office records this year when it comes out in April.
Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, and with it came the “Indiana Jones” franchise. The fifth film was pushed back from 2020 to 2021.
“Star Wars” obviously also came with Lucasfilm. Since the acquisition, Disney has released four “Star Wars” movies (one every year since 2015): two as part of a new trilogy in the main saga, and two spin-off movies. The first three were big box-office success stories and crossed $US1 billion worldwide, but “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” which was released in May, was a box-office disappointment. “Episode IX” comes to theatres in December.
The “Alien” and “Predator” franchises’ R-ratings don’t necessarily fit the Disney brand, so it remains to be seen what will become of the movies. However, Disney CEO Bob Iger has expressed that mature Fox movies would still be made under Disney, but they would have be branded correctly to avoid confusion for audiences.
“The Predator,” directed by Shane Black, was released last year to little enthusiasm. The future of the “Alien” franchise has been in limbo since Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant” disappointed at the box office in 2017.
“Avatar” remains the highest-grossing movie of all time, and director James Cameron has planned to release four sequels between 2020 and 2025.
The two “Deadpool” movies, about the self-aware mutant mercenary, made $US1.5 billion worldwide combined. An spin-off movie called “X-Force” was in development with director Drew Goddard, but it’s in limbo. Disney CEO Bob Iger said last month that Disney would be open to R-rated movies like “Deadpool” if they were branded well.
It’s been six years since the last in the series, “A Good Day to Die Hard,” which has an atrocious 14% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and disappointed at the box office.
2015’s “Fantastic Four” reboot tanked with audiences and critics, receiving a 9% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and just $US56 million at the US box office. The characters could fit nicely into the MCU – if Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is willing to take that chance. Disney’s upcoming streaming platform, Disney+, is always an option.
“Ice Age” has been a successful animated franchise for Fox. While they have dipped in quality across the five movies, they have done well at the worldwide box office. The fourth movie, “Continental Drift,” grossed over $US870 million globally.
Like other Fox franchises, the mature themes and violence of the “Kingsman” series would have a difficult time fitting in at Disney, but director Matthew Vaughn has plans for a third instalment.
Planet of the Apes
The “Planet of the Apes” prequel trilogy wrapped up last year with “War for the Planet of the Apes” to widespread critical acclaim.
Fox’s biggest film franchise, the “X-Men” movies, have managed to maintain a steady success rate for nearly two decades. There are a lot of story possibilities that the Marvel Cinematic Universe could take advantage of if it introduces a new version of the X-Men characters, but we’ll have to wait and see what Disney has planned.
“Dark Phoenix” comes to theatres in June and could be the final “X-Men” movie made pre-Disney to be released. An “X-Men” spin-off, “The New Mutants,” is supposed to arrive in August, but questions have been raised about whether the movie will actually be released to theatres. The Hollywood Reporter reported earlier this month that movie appears to be in limbo after a troubled production, just five months before its scheduled release.
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