Disney Fox (1)

Positive: Fox Movies and Shows on Disney’s Upcoming Streaming Service Makes It a Better Value for Consumers

Disney is planning to launch its own subscription streaming service in 2019, and, as we discussed on a recent episode of /Film Daily, audiences may eventually start to grow tired of subscribing to so many services across multiple platforms as studios continue to branch out and compete with Netflix. A live-action Star Wars TV series that can only be watched with a subscription will help convince people that it’s worth paying a monthly fee, but another thing that will give customers more bang for their buck is the potential addition of hundreds of movies and television shows from Fox’s archives. For audiences still unsure about subscribing to the service in its current form, the notion of being able to stream classics like Cleopatra, All About Eve, The Seven Year Itch, Patton, or The Day The Earth Stood Still just might be enough to move the needle. (Ben Pearson)

disney streaming

Negative: Disney Already Has Too Many Movies to Promote

With Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar already under its belt, Disney is the king of the tentpole game right now. The company will release nine major movies in 2017…but by the end of the year, Fox will have released 14 of its own. As it is, Disney is already fighting against its own divisions to carve out release dates that won’t cannibalize its box office prospects, and adding more than a dozen movies a year to that slate makes that task seem downright impossible. Could that mean that certain movies will get dumped into theaters with not as much advertising or promotion as they’d otherwise have gotten? Or, worse yet, will Disney simply cut down on the number of projects being made as a whole? (Remember, there’s traditionally one Disney animated release, at least one Pixar movie, up to three Marvel movies, and one Star Wars movie being released every year for the foreseeable future.)  Fewer voices being allowed to tell stories sounds like bad news to me. (Ben Pearson)

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Negative: Mid-Budget Movies Could Become Even More Endangered

What ever happened to the mid-budget movie? Lower budget independent films are still a reality, but there was a time when even major Hollywood studios would happily finance mid-budget dramas. Those days are over. Instead, the big studios are hell-bent on making films that are as big as humanly possible. Every film is an “event film.” Franchises are king. Disney certainly hasn’t had any interest in financing a mid-budget film in quite some time – and why should they? Their huge tentpole films rake in the cash. Which indicates that when and if Disney absorbs Fox, they’ll have an even bigger line-up of huge spectacle properties to finance.

The mid-budget film is barely a reality at this point; when this purchase goes through, I have a feeling it will become completely extinct. In an interview with Flavorwire, filmmaker Susan Seidelman rightfully bemoaned the death of the mid-budget film: “You could make movies in the ten-to-20-million-dollar budget range…They didn’t have to be huge blockbusters. They could be more adult-oriented, they didn’t have to appeal to absolutely everyone in the world, and if it’s good work then the studio was happy with making a good profit, but it was a different model… And I think over the years, what happened is that things have gotten really polarized. To studios now, to make a million dollars isn’t a big deal — you have to make a billion dollars, right? They have to appeal to every demographic in every part of the world, so to make a $20 million movie that makes $60 million, why put their money there?”

As a result, smaller, more personal, more adult-oriented fare has gone the way of the dodo, or been relegated to limited platform releases that receive 1/10th of the attention that a superhero film might. This is depressing, and even if you’re a fan of superhero films (and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that), this is troubling. There’s more to movies than just blockbusters, folks. At least, there used to be. (Chris Evangelista)

Fox Disney

Positive: Disney Could Keep 20th Century Fox as Their Adult Branded Entertainment Arm

I don’t honestly believe that Disney would buy 20th Century Fox just for their library and it’s unlikely that Disney would want to turn the Fox brand into just another Disney. It seems far more likely that the mouse house would use 20th Century Fox as a more adult branded entertainment arm. This way, they could produce content that is aimed more at adults outside of the Disney brand. Disney used to do this with Touchtone Pictures. Remember, Wes Anderson’s first big films were released by Disney through Touchtone!

Perhaps Disney could use Fox to release more low and mid-budget films, allowing for more interesting non-franchise films. Looking at the release calendar, it’s clear that Disney is already competing with itself in the big event and franchise film department. It doesn’t make much sense to use Fox for a similar purpose and cannibalize its own audience at the multiplex. The idea that Disney could be using Fox in this way is actually very exciting as it could provide a platform for more interesting stories and new filmmakers to shine. (Peter Sciretta)

Star Wars A New Hope

Positive: Disney Would Finally Own Full Rights to A New Hope

With Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, the company bought the rights to nearly all of Star Wars, but was still forced to share distribution rights, creative decisions and profits on George Lucas’ original film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. If Disney were to acquire Fox, this would mean that the studio would own all of Star Wars for the first time ever. What this could mean for fans is unclear. Some believe that Fox’s ownership in A New Hope has been a sticking point preventing Disney from releasing the original theatrical cut of the film (non-Special Edition).  It could also mean the beloved 20th Century Fox fanfare might be restored to the past and future Star Wars films. (Peter Sciretta)


Negative: What Will Happen to Blue Sky Studios?

Listen, I’m not a fan of Blue Sky Studios or the films they have produced thus far (which mainly consist of the Ice Age and Rio franchises alongside The Peanuts Movie), but what would happen to the Fox-owned animation studio if Disney purchases the company? Would it be run alongside Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Disney Toons Studios? Or would it be shut down, leading to many talented animators losing their jobs? The second option feels like a horrifying possibility. (Peter Sciretta)

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