Fox-Disney Merger Is Good News for Movie Fans
The Walt Disney Company has paid more than $52 billion in a straight stock purchase of 21st Century Fox, one of the most prolific and lucrative Hollywood film and television studios. This merger not only gives Disney access to the sizable Fox film catalog but also rights to all new movies produced under the wildly successful Avatar and X-Men franchises.
The announcement of the merger was made at the same time the new movie trailer for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was racking up millions of views by fans who planned to catch this long-awaited film at local theaters. In October, Disney had also teased a new movie behind the scenes video of actress Daisy Ridley, who may or may not be the last Jedi knight in the Star Wars fictional universe.
Business analysts are certainly excited about the merger, which they described as a necessary move for News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch. According to preliminary details about how the new company will operate, Murdoch will remain in charge of most of the television business, which includes media properties such as Fox News and Fox Sports, while Disney will take over the movie studio.
An interesting tidbit about this merger has to do with the new movies that Disney will produce under 21st Century Fox. In the days when the film studio was known as 20th Century Fox, film audiences became very familiar with the the fanfare music that precludes a Fox movie. When George Lucas directed “Star Wars: A New Hope” in 1977, he made it clear that he wanted to see the searchlight logo and the triumphant fanfare introducing his movie. Now that Disney owns the Fox studio, this fanfare will preclude all new films. The fanfare has such a familiar effect that whenever Fox releases a new movie trailer, loyal fans cannot wait for the day they will sit at the theater and hear the fanfare.
Disney is rumored to have interesting plans for the massive Fox film catalog; one rumor suggests that the company may introduce its very own streaming service complete with videos that will offer a glimpse of a new movie behind the scenes.