by 👨💻 Graham Pierrepoint
It’s been widely regarded as one of the biggest entertainment acquisitions and mergers of recent years, and following months of hype and speculation, The Walt Disney Company has finally completed its buyout of 21st Century Fox. The deal, which has cost Disney a cool $71 billion, comes as a result of the brand fighting off rival bids from Comcast NBCUniversal late last year. This now means that a number of big name franchises and entertainment staples will now be overseen by Disney in a ground-breaking move.
Disney has continued to dominate the box office year on year, thanks to its ongoing commitment to remaking its best-loved animated properties, and to continuing to broaden the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel fans will now be particularly excited following the acquisition, as Marvel Studios should now have full access to characters such as the X Men, the Fantastic Four and Deadpool. The strategy for moving said characters into the existing MCU, at this point, remains to be seen.
Disney Officially Owns 21st Century Fox [video: THR News]
It’s thought that the buyout has been completed ahead of Disney’s push to take on Netflix later in 2019. The brand’s proposed streaming service, currently known as Disney Plus, will reportedly bring original content, movies and well-loved properties to home devices all over the world. This buyout gives Disney access to Fox’s TV and movie divisions, as well as National Geographic and Star India. That’s an incredible amount of reach.
It will also mean that Disney finally picks up huge TV properties such as The Simpsons to add to its arsenal. Quite what this will mean for the future of Matt Groening’s show remains to be seen, though it is at least protected by a recent renewal.
Robert Iger, CEO and Chairman of Disney, hailed the momentous buyout. “This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us – one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders.”
“Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the pre-eminent global entertainment company, well-positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”
This also means that the ‘Big Six’ era is over. This term previously referred to the main studios operating in Hollywood. With Disney and Fox now working as one, they will be operating in a ‘Big Five’ alongside Sony, Paramount, Warner Bros and Universal.