When Disney acquired 20th Century Fox earlier this year, it really changed the entertainment climate. The Mouse House has become a giant media conglomerate. They own various studios, TV networks, and will soon be launching a streaming service. However, there appears to be somewhat of a downside to all of this, at least when you look at it from a stockholder’s point of view.
Disney chief financial officer Christine McCarthy revealed Fox films were at an operating loss of $170 million for the quarter. With these films performing lower than expected, it is forcing Disney to stop production for various 20th Century Fox titles and redirect their focus to key franchises like the newly acquired Marvel properties and Avatar. More on the report below.
The news follows Disney’s announcement that reboots of Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid were coming to Disney+ eventually.
Variety adds that Disney CEO Bob Iger told Wall Street analysts on Tuesday during Disney’s quarterly earnings call that Fox’s superhero titles would move forward under the stewardship of Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. This is due to losses which were due in part to the poor performance of the X-Men title Dark Phoenix and marketing costs for other films.
“One of the biggest issues was the Fox studio performance which was well below where it had been and well below where we hoped it would be when we made the acquisition.”
While smaller titles getting the axe was to be expected, it appear Disney will be continuing some of Fox’s other major franchises that do not fall under the Marvel umbrella. These titles include the Avatar sequels and a continuation of Planet of the Apes. Fox Searchlight will continue on its current trajectory and also make movies for Disney+ so we can expect to continue to see things like The Shape of Water, at least for the time being. However, this is unfortunate news for those who had hoped Disney would let Fox continue to operate like Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm. But that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens to the Fox name and if it will disappear into the wind, which is the way it looks right now.