Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday's Headlines | Update Fox/Disney Deal

21st Century Fox has reportedly been in talks with several companies including Walt Disney Company to sell off part of its assets, including its film division. For comic book fans (and fans of superhero movies), the first things that spring to mind is the the X-Men and Fantastic Four film rights and the possibility of it coming under the umbrella of Marvel Studios. But while that possibility is enticing, it's not all to be excited about.

In its 82 years, Fox has created and acquired numerous franchises that would be enticing to Disney and genre fans. In addition to the enormous film library which includes everything from Titanic to The Sound of Music, there are several science fiction and animation franchies - as well as comic book companies - up for sale. In some cases, Fox owns it all outright, while it others it co-owns it or owns the film and/or distribution rights.

On the science fiction side of things, Fox outright owns the Aliens, Predator, Independence Day, Planet of the Apes, and X-Files franchises.

Fox owns two major animation studios (20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios), and as part of that has The Simpsons (minus the print publishing rights), Ice Age, Family Guy, Bob's Burgers, and American Dad. In addition to that, it has the film rights (and upcoming film) for Noelle Stevenson's Nimona.

It also owns the live-action franchises Die Hard and Home Alone.

Outside of the franchises Fox owns, the studio possesses the film and distribution rights to numerous franchises besides X-Men and Fantastic Four. Fox has the film and companion distribution rights to Futurama, Night at the Museum, Alvin & the Chipmunks, R.L. Stine's Goosebumps, Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' Kingsman, Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball Z, and James Cameron's Avatar. Cameron's Skydance Entertainment retains ownership of the latter, but is already a Disney partner with the franchise appearing in the Disney theme park Animal Kingdom.

Fox, as the original distributor of Star Wars episodes one through six, still owns those physical distribution rights - as well as the full distribution rights (digital, physical, theatrical, television) for the original film. Additional, Fox has the theatrical and home video distribution rights to the first six episodic films through May 2020.