Disney Buys 21st Century Fox In $66.1 Billion Deal

The ongoing, unexpected Fox-Disney saga just went from 0 to full speed in the past two months, and now word is getting out that Disney has acquired the 21st Century Fox division of 20th Century Fox. Here are the latest updates on the situation as it’s unfolded in the past few days.


In the long run, this will mean relatively little for Star Wars and infinitely more for Marvel – but it’s an incredibly interesting development in the world of the movie business, and as such I think it’s worth discussing here.


Bob Iger Will Stick Around Through 2021



Earlier speculation stated that, if Disney bought Fox, then it would mean that Bob Iger would extend his contract to keep working for the Mouse House yet again. And so it is – Disney’s corporate wizard has gone from extending his contract to the end of 2019 to the end of 2021. From Disney’s official press release:

“At the request of both 21st Century Fox and the Disney Board of Directors, Mr. Iger has agreed to continue as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company through the end of calendar year 2021.”

The $66.1 billion buyout represents Iger’s biggest acquisition ever with a transaction that is more than quadruple the estimated $16 billion it took to obtain Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm combined. The pact for the merger is expected to give both companies up to December 13, 2018, although there’s an extension that goes up to a year if either company need it.


Comcast Stopped Discussions Because A Deal Was Imminent


As mentioned in a previous report, Comcast was the runner-up for the grand prize when it came to companies willing to pick up Fox’s assets. However, once they figured out which way the wind was blowing, they decided that they didn’t need to waste their time with further discussion. The company issued the following statement:

“When a set of assets like 21st Century Fox’s becomes available, it’s our responsibility to evaluate if there’s a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders. That’s what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer. We have a terrific company with a strong portfolio of businesses and will continue to focus on driving growth, innovating, creating great content, and providing excellent experiences for our customers.”

It is understood that Disney’s buyout makes up a majority of Fox’s entertainment assets, but features such as Fox News and Fox Sports remain at Fox.


The Deal Is Announced In Time For The New Star Wars



The timing of this deal is certainly not an accident. This Tuesday, information suggesting that the deal was on the fast-track by both parties. And, from a corporate standpoint, it’s a smart move to do so today – since the new Star Wars is guaranteed to be a smash hit at the box office, the confirmation of this deal will raise Disney’s stock even higher than it would have been before things close for the weekend.


Disney Is Willing To Shell Out More Cash To Iron Out Any Legal Headaches



Obviously, there are a can of worms that have yet to be opened regarding the legality of this deal and whether or not it creates a monopoly, and these will have to be answered in the next few months. But Disney have made it clear that they’ll be willing to shell out even more dosh if it means ensuring that the deal passes, with $2.5 billion reserved for a potential break-up to compensate for any troubles.


Oh, and one more thing worth noting: like a lot of major events that have come to pass in popular culture, The Simpsons easily predicted this one.



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Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.

Grant Davis (Pomojema)

Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.

22 thoughts on “Disney Buys 21st Century Fox In $66.1 Billion Deal

  • December 14, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    This actually does mean just a little bit for Star Wars – it means that Disney gains the distribution rights for the original 6 Star Wars films, doesn’t it? So they can make any rerelease in cinemas/streaming/cable/home media, without Fox being involved. No more Fox fanfare on future bluray rereleases.

    • December 14, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Indeed, and I posted about this in one of the other articles that I wrote on this subject. The ANH rights are the big deal here, but since the Lucasfilm purchase covered basically everything else, most of Disney’s perks out of making this purchase come from getting a greater number of resources and expanding their Marvel brand even further.

      – Pomojema

    • December 14, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      By the same token, theoretically (not likely, but theoretically) does this mean they could also now *add* the Fox fanfare to the Disney-era movies if they wanted to? A Star Wars movie without it just feels weird, especially since I’m sure I read somewhere the Williams deliberately matched the pitch and tone of the Fox Fanfare to the Star Wars theme so they’d blend perfectly together.

      That fanfare’s just part of Star Wars; as a child any time I watched any other 20th Century Fox film that didn’t suddenly burst into the Star Wars theme was always an immediate disappointment to me. The one exception being Alien3 and its unique dismal mutation of the fanfare which perfectly drew me into its miserable world (yes I actually like that film).

      • December 15, 2017 at 1:29 am

        I don’t think we’ll be seeing it again, myself. On a side note:
        I really hated the “Bad Robot” logo at the end of TFA.

      • December 15, 2017 at 4:55 pm

        Personally, I doubt we’ll be seeing it again any time soon. If Marvel is any indication, films will continue to be distributed by Walt Disney Studios and any additional studio logos are included until rights issues are resolved (like the first ‘Captain America’ being distributed by Paramount but not its sequels). With Lucasfilm having already being divorced from Fox for ‘The Force Awakens’, there really isn’t much reason to change things up again.

  • December 14, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Re: “but features such as Fox News and Fox Sports remain at Fox”

    Fox News – yeah, didn’t expect that would go to Disney.

    They weren’t gonna lose control of the state-run news media.

    • December 15, 2017 at 12:10 am

      There is a large difference between being in the tank for a party and being run by one.

    • December 15, 2017 at 6:30 am

      Fox News is under FBI investigation, so… Good call on skipping that can of worms, Bob Iger.

      – Pomojema

  • December 14, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    So we get our beloved bdddd ump, ump, bdddd, ump, ump, fanfare back??

    • December 14, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      I doubt it. Lucasfilm and Fox are two totally separate entities now, both of which Disney just happens to own. There’s no reason to combine the two if Lucasfilm is in complete control over their productions. Would love to see that Unaltered Original Trilogy box set though!

  • December 14, 2017 at 10:44 pm


  • December 14, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    All your entertainments belong to us

    • December 15, 2017 at 12:13 am

      Good one. Just a minor correction though:

      “All your entertainments ARE belong to us.”

      At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Disney buy out Apple and GE in the near future. Why don’t we just go ahead and change the name of our nation’s capital (I’m American) to “Washington

  • December 15, 2017 at 12:05 am

    As exciting as it is to reunite marvel, I’m very worried about Disney buying out one their already limited amount of competitors. And just from an entertainment perspective I’m worried about the shrinking pool of intellectually diverse brands to choose from. I liked that fox was taking a different approach to its marvel properties than the MCU but now it’s all potentially going to be disnified. What a bummer.

    • December 15, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Marvel under Disney gave us the MCU Netflix series and Lucasfilm gave us ‘Rogue One’. For all the claims about “Disney-fication”, I don’t think it should be an issue based on current experience.

      • December 15, 2017 at 7:09 pm

        mcu netflix is a very different animal from the main line films. now don’t get me wrong i love the mcu, but i also love that fox was willing and able to take chances with its characters with logan and deadpool, something disney seems very unwilling to try on the big screen.

        • December 31, 2017 at 7:47 am

          I don’t know if you heard about this, but Bob Iger has said that he’s open to doing R-rated Deadpool sequels as long as they make it clear that they’re not MCU movies. I think that they’ll be safe to do that now that they have a different label that they can stick things under.

          – Pomojema

          • December 31, 2017 at 9:12 pm

            yes dad i read the news too. that also wasn’t the point. if disney wants to put all these characters(minus deadpool) into the preexisting mcu it could hurt the creativity and uniqueness of having these properties under separate umbrellas. disney could also prove me very wrong in which case i’d gladly admit it.

  • December 15, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Bring me dat fanfare boiiiiiii!!!!!

  • December 15, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    In addition to the X-Men and Deadpool franchises , the Alien brand, and the rights to the original Star Wars movies, Disney, as I understand it, has also acquired the Avatar franchise along with Fox. Bob Iger allegedly said that Disney has plans to develop Avatar into a SW-like brand.

    Personally, I dread that the “evil Empire” is getting more powerful every day. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is still blocking the AT&T/ Time-Warner merger.

    Which studio do you think will be an acquisition target in the future (not necessarily by Disney, but by some of its competitors) ? Paramount maybe ?

    • December 31, 2017 at 7:42 am

      Paramount, given the rut that they’re in. I think Lionsgate might be an easy purchase for a larger studio as well, or an ambitious upstart company entering the biz like Amazon.

      Sony Pictures is in a bit of a rut financially (and they have been for the past few years), but based on how they’ve rebounded this year, someone buying them out seems like it’d be farther away than one would think.

      I think the AT&T/Time Warner merger is going to still happen, it’s just a matter of the inevitable being delayed for petty reasons (petty reasons which will give the lawyers more than enough ammo to fight back against the DOJ). I fundamentally think it’s not that much different from Comcast owning Universal.

      – Pomojema

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