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The Disney/Fox Deal: Questions and Consequences

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Dec 14th 2017 at 6:08:02 AM

So, now that the Deal has been officially announced (see here: https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/walt-disney-company-acquire-twenty-first-century-fox-inc-spinoff-certain-businesses-52-4-billion-stock/ ) I think that we should start a separate discussion. After all, this is by far not just about the Marvel properties. This is about a whole chunk of movies and TV related IP's. Not to mention that this is a major shift in the studio system.

Here is a broad list of what is part of the deal:

•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

I'll will add my thoughts about this in a separate post.

edited 14th Dec '17 6:08:32 AM by Swanpride

Misiael Relationship Status: Dancing with myself
Dec 14th 2017 at 6:17:08 AM

Even better position to further abusing public domain law is my first concern.

Dec 14th 2017 at 6:20:00 AM

[up]Same. A company is only interested in profit, not art or expression for its own sake.

"That's right kid. Never play an ace when a two will do."
Dec 14th 2017 at 6:20:45 AM

And now Avatar and Star Wars belong to the main company. I hope Disney won't screw Cameron over because SW's merchandising is more profitable.

Aldo930 Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon from Quahog, R.I.
Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon
Dec 14th 2017 at 6:22:38 AM

What's it really mean?

Less competition in the movie business. Disney controlling a gigantic share of the box office. People probably out of work if the deal goes through. From any standpoint the deal is bad to everyone except Disney (and the Murdochs).

But this is only the beginning. The deal is so big it has to go through regulatory approval. Anything can happen in that time to derail it. Read this article - http://variety.com/2017/politics/news/disney-fox-deal-antitrust-enforcement-1202637338

"They say I'm old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast."
Dec 14th 2017 at 6:22:57 AM

Anytime a market starts shrinking in members while growing in size, I get very nervous.

Setting aside my fears of increasing media conglomeration for a moment, it looks like Disney’s deal with Fox includes all the Star Wars rights. As in, Disney could release blu rays of the original remastered trilogy with none of Lucas’ later edits.

edited 14th Dec '17 6:23:13 AM by wisewillow

Dec 14th 2017 at 6:23:47 AM

Well, my first thought is: "Yay! Bob Iger stays longer!" I mean he seems to do an excellent job with Disney. He seems to have an understanding for the Brand, is ready to allow creative people to do their work, and I certainly prefer him over the notion of one of the Murdoch sons taking over for him.

Dec 14th 2017 at 6:28:58 AM

Wait, is that a thing that may happen? The Murdochs are... well, I don’t want them to ever have any power or influence, let alone more of it.

Dec 14th 2017 at 6:33:20 AM

There’ll be plenty of lay offs at Fox so... that’s not great. Plus after Disney decided to revoke early access to Thor Ragnarok to a critic because his paper criticised them for tax avoidance in Anaheim I’m not feeling charitable towards them right now.

Dec 14th 2017 at 6:35:54 AM

Yeah, that critic access business was awful. But being less awful than Murdoch is a really, really low bar.

Dec 14th 2017 at 6:39:25 AM

The Antitrust question aside (though I doubt that it will be a problem, but who knows), it will take some time to sort out the whole thing. Especially regarding the TV properties. A lot of them are most likely tied up in some sort of distribution or syndication deal. But let's take a look at the properties Disney saw fit to mention:

Avatar - Well, Cameron should be happy. Disney has invested a lot in the Avatar theme park stuff and he already mentioned that he expects even more support from Disney than he got from Fox.

X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool -. So either Disney has already dealt with Constantin film or they think that it won't be a problem. The interesting part is that they mentioned Deadpool separately. That doesn't sound like they intend to just end the franchise.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water and The Martian - none of those are Franchise worthy, but were very successful and unusual movies. That sounds as if Disney intends to tab into Fox creative talent in the future. At the very least they have no intention to put those properties into the Disney vault.

The Americans, This Is Us, Modern Family, The Simpsons and so many more hit TV series - yeah, sorting those out might be the most complicated part in all this.

Dec 14th 2017 at 6:50:43 AM

Yes, there was some talk about the Murdoch's getting a food into Disney due to this deal. I wasn't pleased with the notion either and it still might happen (no mention are made of who will lead Fox in the future), but for now, Bob Iger is firmly at the helm.

But don't forget that Disney will pay a lot of the sum in shares, not in money. So...yeah, we can just hope that Disney way careful about how much it was ready to give them. It sounds like they got away with less than originally asked for in exchange for taking some difficult properties off their hand. Speaking of which:

"Prior to the close of the transaction, it is anticipated that 21st Century Fox will seek to complete its planned acquisition of the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own. Sky is one of Europe’s most successful pay television and creative enterprises with innovative and high-quality direct-to-consumer platforms, resonant brands and a strong and respected leadership team. 21st Century Fox remains fully committed to completing the current Sky offer and anticipates that, subject to the necessary regulatory consents, the transaction will close by June 30, 2018. Assuming 21st Century Fox completes its acquisition of Sky prior to closing of the transaction, The Walt Disney Company would assume full ownership of Sky, including the assumption of its outstanding debt, upon closing."

Take what I'll say now with a grain of salt, I didn't follow the whole matter with Sky THAT closely, but as far as I know, the thing is a giant clusterfuck. "Most successful" is really relative, because the whole noting of pay-tv never really caught on all that well in Europe (why should it, our networks are designed more consumer friendly). Sky Germany has struggled from day one to make a profit. And the whole matter with Fox buying back those shares...yeah, the issue there is that (if I remember correctly) they sold some shares for some reason and when they tried to get a majority back, the anti trust guardians of the UK intervened because Murdoch already practically owns their press and they didn't want him to have even more power. I guess they might allow this if there is the promise in the room that those shares will immediately transferred to Disney. I guess Fox is glad to get rid of that particular mess.

ashlay Om Mani Padme Hm
Om Mani Padme Hm
Dec 14th 2017 at 7:01:24 AM

I for one welcome our new entertainment Mega-Corp overlord. sad

Well still, quite interested to see what happens to a lot of the properties now. Does Legion keep going? Deadpool 2? Does Disney, given their stronger economic position than Fox, decide they're not going to give Ridley Scott more money to make baffling Alien prequels? Now that they hold the full rights to A New Hope, do we get theatrical cut Star Wars releases again?

And hey, maybe this will encourage other movie studios to put more bets outside the blockbuster scene and on independent and smaller films like a Blumhouse Productions or some such.

edited 14th Dec '17 7:02:02 AM by ashlay

Dec 14th 2017 at 7:09:01 AM

The Fox movies announced for next year will all still happen, they are too far in production and advertising to be stopped now. The question is what happens later.

Here is what isn't mentioned/clear:

1.Apparently the shares given equal 25% of Disney...I don't think that this is a controlling share, but I am not quite sure about it.

2.Who gets the Fox-name? Will they both use it?

3. What will happen to Blue Sky? Will Disney just resell it?

edited 14th Dec '17 7:09:22 AM by Swanpride

TargetmasterJoe Much more than meets the eye! from The City, USA Relationship Status: I like big bots and I can not lie
Much more than meets the eye!
Dec 14th 2017 at 7:15:26 AM

Okay, I get that a deal this big is going to have some massive ramifications, but I can't help but picture the following image, albeit with Peter or Stewie Griffin being force-fed Lima beans.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/image_8237.jpeg

I don't think I need to explain why...evil grin

[up][up] Hmmmm. You raise valid concerns, but since the PR mentioned Deadpool by name and mentioned some of Fox's more creative movies in recent history, I have a feeling they'd want to tap into that more creative side of Fox.

I kind of wonder if they'll resurrect Neill Blomkamp's concept of Alien 5...

edited 14th Dec '17 7:17:49 AM by TargetmasterJoe

Status: Evil beware, I have Twitter!
ashlay Om Mani Padme Hm
Om Mani Padme Hm
Dec 14th 2017 at 7:21:44 AM

[up][up] to point 1, Murdock family apparently are only going to have 5% of total shares themselves: https://www.ft.com/content/5c52993a-e02c-11e7-a8a4-0a1e63a52f9c

edited 14th Dec '17 1:37:23 PM by ashlay

Aldo930 Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon from Quahog, R.I.
Professional Moldy Fig/Curmudgeon
Dec 14th 2017 at 7:22:16 AM

The question I'm really wondering is who's going to own the trademark on the Fox name?

Will it be the remnants of Murdoch's corporation or Disney itself? And how long will they be allowed to continue using the Fox name? Will Fox News have to rename itself, or will the studio have to?

"They say I'm old fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast."
Dec 14th 2017 at 7:37:52 AM

... Brooklyn 99 is safe, right?

Dec 14th 2017 at 7:47:10 AM

[up]The company spinning off from Fox still controls Fox, Fox News, Fox Business, and the FS Sports Networks.

"That's right kid. Never play an ace when a two will do."
Dec 14th 2017 at 7:58:50 AM

[up][up][up][up] That's a relief.

I have the feeling that Disney deliberately decided to pay a huge chunk in actual money instead of shares.

Hodor2 Squid Pro Quo
Squid Pro Quo
Dec 14th 2017 at 8:20:33 AM

How many yeas until we have to make all purchases using Disneybucks?

I like the idea of more (and hopefully quality) Marvel properties but a bit worried at how many IP's this covers. Like are they going to potentially cancel or put out of circulation things like Brooklyn 99, etc. Or conversely pump up things that shouldn't be, like Cameron's Avatar franchise?

edited 14th Dec '17 8:21:51 AM by Hodor2

GraymanofBelka The Senate from Coruscant Relationship Status: Seeking boyfriend-free girl
The Senate
Dec 14th 2017 at 8:34:53 AM

How many yeas until we have to make all purchases using Disneybucks?

WE ARE ENLIGHTENED MASSES WE CANNOT MAKE THE JUDGEMENT CALL GIVE UP FREE WILL FOREVER OUR VOICES WILL NOT BE HEARD AT ALL

Seriously while I'm concerned about Disney's growing power at least all of Marvel's properties are together and hopefully the comics will actually remember that the Fantastic Four are important.

Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?
ashlay Om Mani Padme Hm
Om Mani Padme Hm
Dec 14th 2017 at 8:39:35 AM

[up] You've heard about the requirements for theaters to show The Last Jedi, right? Required showing windows and a higher take of the box office for the Mouse. They're already flexing their stake in the market in various ways, including those that directly affect what films you as a consumer can see when.

I'm happy X-Men and Fantastic Four will likely be under Kevin Feige's control for Phase 4 of MCU, but there are already and will continue to be negatives of Disney having such a big chunk of the market.

TechPowah Just a simple hero from the room down the hall Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Just a simple hero
Dec 14th 2017 at 9:04:59 AM The New Age of Awesome is here! Not even the sky is the limit!
Dec 14th 2017 at 9:09:12 AM

[up]Marvel Max or Epic imprints incoming. Put them under the Touchstone label if need be.

"That's right kid. Never play an ace when a two will do."

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