A few weeks ago news broke that Disney had been in talks with Fox about buying its movie and TV divisions. I’ll be honest I got extremely excited. The geek in me squeed at the thought of The X-men teaming up with the Avengers whilst my all-time favourite comic book character Deadpool constantly popped up trying to join both teams.
Yesterday news broke that not only have the talks started again but they are progressing very quickly to an actual deal. This isn’t a fantasy anymore. The internet rejoiced when Sony allowed Siderman to return home imagine the trumpets and joy for the return of the Fantastic Four! They will actually get a decent movie! Dr Doom can come play in the MCU! This can only be good news surely?
I hate to burst the bubble here but I have to agree with most of my contemporaries when I say I can’t wait to see Deadpool getting up to all sorts of hijinks and mayhem with Spiderman but I think this is a bad deal for the industry as a whole. Yes, I can’t wait to see all of Marvels superhero roster return to the stable and take their rightful places in the MCU but let’s look at the cold hard facts here.
Will Disney allow Deadpool to be R rated in his own films? After the amazing success of the R rated Logan will we once again return to a more sanitised family-friendly version of Wolverine?
Last year Disney had a total of 18% of the American box office with Fox taking 12% (according to Forbes) The deal would mean Disney has a 40% market share. Throw in the fact that the deal also gives them the rights to Avatar, X-files, Aliens and The Simpsons and some analysts are predicting next year could be as much as 55%-70% of the American box office!
Not only would this mean that the House of Mouse has a monopoly stranglehold on theatres and can dictate the market but it also means that other studios wouldn’t be able to compete therefore will most likely be risk-averse to more creative and artistic films.
Then there is TV. Again this isn’t just about the MCU the deal would also include all of Fox TV properties too. Will Disney with its family orientated morals allow programmes like American Horror Story and Legion to continue to be made? As for streaming, we knew Disney was planning to pull all its content from Netflix in 2019 and this deal would include the acquisition of the streaming platform Hulu so can we expect to see that rebranded into the Disney platform?
Whilst I am against monopolies as they starve competition, on the one hand, it would be great to see an actual competitor to Netflix but with such a massive TV and Movie vault could Netflix slip from industry leader to struggling for scraps? Netflix produces some amazing original programming like Making a Murderer and Mindhunter but could it begin to compete with Disney’s back catalogue, The entire MCU and The Star Wars franchise in its entirety?
Whilst at first glance it makes my geek heart sing to see every Marvel superhero return home, I have to ask is it really a good deal for the entertainment industry? I would love to know your thoughts so please, let us know what you think in the comments below.