As the entertainment industry diligently adapts to the relentless pace of the internet, the era of cable subscriptions and conventional theatrical releases wither away. Following Netflix‘s charge toward the streaming model, Hulu, Amazon, Google and the like have begun competing for the rights of strong film and TV titles.
Although the platform has yet to be established, Disney is already a big competitor in the streaming race. Now that the US Department of Justice has approved the merger, 20th Century Fox‘s shareholders will meet on July 27 to confirm Disney’s mixed cash and stock bid that’s valued at $71.3 billion USD. Assuming Comcast does not counter-bid and Disney divests 22 of Fox’s regional sports networks (as per the DOJ’s stipulations), Disney will obtain a list of impressive titles for the forthcoming streaming service. This includes staple cartoons like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, King of the Hill, and Bob’s Burgers. Also picking-up popular sitcoms like Malcom in the Middle, How I met your Mother, New Girl, Modern Family, and FX’s Atlanta.
Alongside streaming material, Disney’s 30% stake in Hulu becomes 60%, taking a majority shareholding (Comcast has 30%); a 39% stake in UK-media and telecommunications company Sky plc; and the complete ownership of Indian media conglomerate, Star India Private Limited. Below, we take a look at some of the stronger franchises that will fall under the ownership of Disney.
As one of the most iconic Christmas movies ever made, and the highest-grossing film of 1990; the John Hughes-created franchise has proven it’s strength over the years. Although the later installments didn’t meet the same commercial success, it is safe to say Home Alone has the potential to be rebooted for the technologically-inclined children of today.
Originally created by Michael J. Wilson, Ice Age still doesn’t seem to be melting away any time soon. Generating nearly $6 billion in revenue, these scientifically inaccurate kids movies have become one of the highest-grossing media franchises owned by Fox. With no official word on a 7th installment, it is unsure how Disney will treat the animated CG film they acquire.
In 2009, James Cameron‘s Avatar brought in $2.8 billion dollars and became the highest-grossing film of all time — picking up numerous visual awards as well. A highly ambitious film written in 1984, Cameron combined CGI with live-action footage to deliver an immersive 3D experience on the alien planet of Pandora. In 2011, Disney entered a licensing agreement with Fox for an Avatar-themed attraction. With the initial interest in the franchise, we are hopeful that Cameron will be able to produce all of his planned installments with Disney.
A franchise started in 1979, the Ridley Scott-directed Alien was critically acclaimed for it’s visual effects. Although further installments and crossovers may have confused the franchise canon, the recent Prometheus, and Alien: Covenant helped to strengthen the lore of the franchise — also providing an origin story for the infamous Xenomorph. Unfortunately, Alien: Covenant did not do so well at the box-office, so we will have to wait and see if Ridley Scott and Disney decide to produce more for the franchise.
Planet of the Apes
Adapted from the 1963 novel by Pierre Boulle, Planet of the Apes was credited for tackling the controversial themes of racism, animal cruelty, and nuclear warfare. Although the franchise has already faced two reboots, the last three films collectively raked in $1.68 billion USD. The final film, War for the Planet of the Apes rendered humans incapable of speech, essentially serving as a prequel for the original 1968 Planet of the Apes film. As Caesar’s story saw closure throughout the trilogy, Disney could definitely pick up the franchise from there.
Created by Jim Thomas and John Thomas, Predator focuses on an alien race that hunts Earthlings for sport, facing-off against big action stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Danny Glover. The sequels offered more information about the alien hunters, and the upcoming film The Predator will deliver a human-made, genetically altered Predator to the screen. Assuming this movie does well at the box office, it will be interesting to see how Disney treats the sci-fi franchise.
Originally published by Icon comics, the Mark Millar-written graphic novel was a commercial success when adapted for the big screen. As an R-rated action comedy, Kingsman: The Secret Service was a refreshing film within the overly-serious spy genre. The first two films collectively grossed $825 million dollars with a relatively small budget of $81 million, and a $104 million budget for Kingsman: The Golden Circle. With a third installment already on the way, it is unsure if Disney will produce more — including the rumored Statesman spin-off.