Disney franchise takeover of 20th Century Fox: what does that mean for the film industry?

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It was announced on the 14th of December that the all-powerful Disney corporation would be buying 20th Century Fox for a whopping $52.4 billion. According to the MSNBC analysis which put the rumours to bed, Fox was unnerved by the growing consumption of Netflix, Amazon, Facebook and Google. The company felt they could no longer compete with these masses and thus, were eager to sell up. Disney, apparently, was the most beneficial choice.

The questions to ask now are these: does Disney have too much power over the rights of film franchises? Is there now a tyrannical power governing Hollywood?

For many, there is excitement because now that Disney owns the rights to a multitude of the Marvel franchise’s characters, they can start to make even more crossovers. Fox owned the rights to X-Men, Fantastic 4 and Deadpool. It could be seen as a great positive for the over-crowded and linear timeline confused X-Men and also, the badly corroded 3 movies rebooted Fantastic 4.

The same can not be said for the massively successful Deadpool. Chairman of Disney, Bob Iger has already stated they do not wish to make R-rated movies and wish to stick with family friendly content. This implies that the well-loved, incredible swear junkie and gore infested Deadpool could become squeaky clean. Star Ryan Reynolds has already expressed his overt concern with the tweet: “if this is true, how the fudge would it affect Deadpool?”

There is also a worry over the fact if one massive cooperation owns all the rights to the big movie franchises does that mean they will all be the same? Will they just churn out movies that all have the same aesthetic, humour, dialogue etc because this is what makes money? Where will the creativity go and will there actually be any within these movies? Craig Robertson, RGU:Film President and Film student, said: “It will be fine from a film watcher’s point of view. They’ll ditch the stuff that doesn’t work, and work with the stuff that does. Some may complain about MCU’s (Marvel Cinematic Universe) sameness, but you can’t argue with consistency.”

For many, they’d rather have an averagely good movie that has a similar formation to others in the series than ones who branch out far too left field. At the end of the day, nobody wants to pay money to watch a bad movie. Disney knows what works as they’ve been in the filmmaking field for a very long time but there is still concern that they own too much. It could become that movies are spread too thin and the one thing that made Hollywood which was creativeness will be no more. It could be said Hollywood is bankrupt. Not of money but creativity.

As Craig explains: “Not only does Disney have some of the most bankable franchises and collections based on their own stuff, now they have practically, all of Marvel to play with, all of Star Wars and all of Avatar. That translates to all of the money. If history has taught us anything, it is that monopolies are bad for creativity.”

So, money equals power but does it equate to great and unique movies? Only time will tell. 

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