It happened (finally) and it only took $71.3 billion to merge the forces of Disney and Fox. Here’s the question:
Many fans are concerned the “Merc with a Mouth” will be muzzled by Mickey Mouse. Speculation is warranted, but panic is premature.
Exactly 25 years ago, Disney acquired a different studio: Miramax. Disney’s first release with Miramax Studios was Pulp Fiction; a film that would make Deadpool turn red. Miramax focused on prestige films, which all racked up more than 50 Oscars for Disney.
Admittedly, Miramax made one misstep that might cause some fans to lose their wigs. In 1998, Miramax turned down Lord of the Rings, and sold the rights for $12 million. A film that initially made $93 million in the U.S. box office, later made an average of $970 million across the epic movies in the trilogy.
And sold for $12 million. The bigger thing is this: Disney almost owned LOTR and Star Wars. The studio did redeem themselves with Kill Bill, a film which undoubtedly influenced Deadpool’s stylized violence.
Marvel Studios has always been silent about their “Phase 3” films to follow Infinity War, as they were most likely contingent on the Disney/Fox merger. Years ago in the comic book movie world, Marvel cancelled off Fantastic Four, killed Wolverine, and placed an embargo on the creation of new X-Men, as Fox would own all new characters.
Make no mistake, these were futile attempts to devalue iconic properties.
Fox did a better job of devaluing the characters themselves with terrible life choices, like Deadpool in Wolverine: Origins. Marvel Studios was always going to rescue their missing characters; it was just a matter of how much the ransom would be.
Marvel Studios is a smaller piece of the Disney Empire than most people assume. Disney’s ESPN brings in far more revenue than all of their films combined — Pixar, Star Wars, Muppets, and all toy sales included. This merger was part of a larger plan to refocus efforts on film, given ESPN has been in rapid decline for years, and dragging Disney stock prices down with it.
Disney’s new streaming service premieres in 2019, though Disney is leaving behind ‘Daredevil and Friends‘ on Netflix (because, admit it, Iron Fist is lame…although some of us is channeling his Chi). One of Disney’s first moves was to cancel Fox’s Die Hard reboot, because legally only Bruce Willis is allowed to say “Yippee-Kii-Yay…”
Another sign the Disney/Fox merger was inevitable was their construction of an Avatar theme park before Disney owned the film itself, and upcoming Avatar sequels. Disney now owns another franchise synonymous with James Cameron: Aliens.
Pardon me while I wish upon a star for an Alien/Avatar crossover…
So relax, Disney knows how to make chimichangas for everyone. Deadpool may have baby legs, but he’s in good hands.