A few weeks ago a rumour emerged that Disney was in talks to acquire 21st Century Fox, that rumour was quickly debunked but it didn’t stop film fans from thinking of the potential possibilities and drawbacks of such an acquisition. Then last week it was officially announced that talks had actually taken place and would be continuing further, and earlier this week we learned an announcement would be made today of the deal.
Disney have released an official statement confirming they have acquired 21st Century Fox for a jaw dropping $52.4 billion. The deal includes:
- Acquisition complements and enhances The Walt Disney Company’s ability to provide consumers around the world with more appealing content and entertainment options
- Transaction to include 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios, cable entertainment networks and international TV businesses
- Popular entertainment properties including X-Men, Avatar, The Simpsons, FX Networks and National Geographic to join Disney’s portfolio
- Expands Disney’s direct-to-consumer offerings with addition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment content, capabilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia; Hulu stake becomes a controlling interest
- Addition of extensive international properties, including Star in India and Fox’s 39% ownership of Sky across Europe, enhances Disney’s position as a truly global entertainment company with world-class offerings in key regions
- Robert A. Iger to remain Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company through 2021
In their statement they mention some of 21st Century Fox’s most notable films and TV shows that would now come under the Disney Umbrella, which includes ‘X-Men’, ‘Deadpool’, ‘The Shape of Water’, and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’.
“Combining with Disney are 21st Century Fox’s critically acclaimed film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, which together offer diverse and compelling storytelling businesses and are the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, as well as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water and The Martian—and its storied television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, which have brought The Americans, This Is Us, Modern Family, The Simpsons and so many more hit TV series to viewers across the globe. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.
Lots of film fans are excited at the potential of the X-Men being introduced into the MCU, as well as other Marvel characters that couldn’t previously be included due to 21st Century Fox owning the rights. But many worry that Disney won’t produce riskier films like ‘Logan’, ‘Deadpool’, ‘Planet of the Apes’, and fear their films will be less director driven – which would be a crying shame for the industry.
What are your thoughts on this gigantic acquisition?