Who Needs Inhumans? Disney In Talks To Eat 20th Century Fox For Dinner
The implications across the entertainment world are huge, and 20th Century Fox reveals it’s in talks to sell itself to Disney.
In the beginning, Marvel was broke. It was the late 90s and comic books were no longer a thing people were reading. Marvel needed money fast. So it sold the right to it’s most popular cartoon, The X-Men to 20th Century Fox (now 21st Century Fox), followed by the rights to Spider-Man to Sony. The rest is history. The X-Men and Spider-Man movies kicked off the beginning of a wave of comic book movies which have taken over the cineplexes in the second decade of this century. Once Marvel recuperated, they too launched their own in-house movie-making enterprise, the MCU, which was so successful it was promptly bought by Disney, eager to expand their reach out of the Princess field and into little boy’s toys.
Now it looks like everyone will be coming home. As was loudly announced in 2015, Sony, which had been struggling to keep the rights for Spider-Man from reverting back to Marvel (and therefore Disney) by releasing a series of less and less successful movies, gave up the ghost and partnered with them to put Spidey back in the MCU fold.
Fox seemed to be doing better. The accidental success of Deadpool gave them a new formula to use the X-Men characters without being MCU clones. But maybe they shouldn’t have been working so hard, as today, it was revealed the entire company is looking at how much money they can make if they just cash out and hand the entire shebang over to the Mouse House.
According to CNBC, which broke the story:
21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Walt Disney Co., leaving behind a media company tightly focused on news and sports, according to people familiar with the situation. The talks have taken place over the last few weeks and there is no certainty they will lead to a deal. The two sides are not currently talking at this very moment, but given the on again, off again nature of the talks, they could be revisited.
For Fox, the willingness to engage in sale talks with Disney stems from a growing belief among its senior management that scale in media is of immediate importance and there is not a path to gain that scale in entertainment through acquisition. The company is said to believe that a more tightly focused group of properties around news and sports could compete more effectively in the current marketplace.
FOX at this point is defined more by FOX News than any of its entertainment properties. The continuing struggle to keep its most popular property out of Disney’s hands has been real. (Marvel has not helped by promoting the Inhumans comics over the X-Men either.) For Disney to eat another entertainment company of size after the large-scale acquisitions this decade of Lucasfilm would only cement it as the American entertainment behemoth, with tendrils into so many aspects of movies, TV, and the Internet, it’s only real rival is Facebook.
Disney already owns ABC, so it could not buy FOX the channel. But this deal could potentially include the UK’s Sky Network and Sky Atlantic (HBO’s UK outlet) as well as the Star network of channels which includes many higher end Asian markets, including India and Japan.
Of course, no one from Disney or FOX cared to comment.