Disney Killing Fox Films

While some film fans were ecstatic over the prospect of Disney buying Fox, others cautioned that this move could end up being bad for movies. Sadly, it looks as if that latter concern is turning out to be true. A new report reveals that Disney is in the midst of culling, and killing, several Fox titles. Even movies that are still moving ahead are getting a detailed reappraisal from the House of Mouse. Whatever your feelings here, you have to ask yourself: is destroying potentially good movies off just so the Disney Marvel heroes can party with the Fox Marvel heroes ultimately worth it?

THR has a disheartening story claiming Disney is killing-off several projects in the wake of their big Fox deal. Per their report, “film studio chief Alan Horn has jettisoned a number of Fox projects from his development and preproduction slate, including the $170 million tentpole Mouse Guard, the Tom Hanks starrer News of the World (to Universal) and an adaptation of Angie Thomas’ best-seller On the Come Up (to Paramount).”

Why is this happening? It looks as if Disney doesn’t want to devote the money to non-franchise films, or films that don’t have wide appeal. While this makes sense from a business standpoint, it’s yet another unfortunate nail in the coffin of smaller, more personal projects. When it comes to the Fox-related properties, Disney wants “larger all-audience PG-13 and R-rated films” now.

For example, THR says Disney killed On the Come Up didn’t make the cut, because “Thomas’ last project, The Hate U Give, lost $30 million-$40 million despite a modest $23 million budget and a marketing spend believed to be about $30 million.” The Hate U Give was highly acclaimed among critics, but because the film failed to make money, Disney is now unwilling to give a similar project a fair shake. That should alarm people, but probably won’t.

Fox projects that are still moving forward include the Kingsman prequel The Great Game, the R.L. Stine adaptation Fear Street, and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. But not even these titles are exempt from reappraisal:

One source says Disney film chief Alan Horn is questioning the apparent plan to have young characters smoking onscreen in West Side Story. “With Fox, we can make movies that right now I say no to … We always have to think about the smoking policy. The audience for a Disney movie may not know what they are going to see, but they know what they aren’t going to see,” Horn said in a recent interview with THR. “There are certain things we just can’t include because we’ll get letters.”

There’s no way around it: this news is depressing, and a bad sign of things to come. You could argue that other studios can still make the type of films Disney doesn’t want anything to do with, but the problem is that Disney has fast become a movie monopoly, which ultimately hurts other, smaller films. How can anyone get a fair shake if Disney owns everything?

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