Now that the Fox acquisition drama is over, and Disney has cleared the final anti-trust issues, the company will see unprecedented success at the Box Office.
Disney now owns licenses on some of the biggest names in entertainment; Star Wars, Marvel (including all X-Men, Dead Pool, and Fantastic Four, thanks to the Fox Acquisition), Pixar, and of course Disney’s own line of successful animated masterpieces. In addition, Disney holds the license on other potential blockbuster franchises, like Avatar.
This has already been an incredible box office year for the mouse house, with Black Panther ($1.34 billion), Infinity War ($2.04 billion), Incredibles 2 ($856.9 million), Solo (384.6 million), Ant-Man and Wasp (283.7 million and counting). If one was to count DeadPool (now a Disney franchise), that would add another $730.8 million. With this alone, Disney is set to gobble up nearly half of all box office
And when one examines the fanboy synergy of these titles, there’s nothing but greater opportunity on the horizon. If one thing the Avenger movies have shown us is the sum is at least as great as the parts.
And with this level of box office comes power over the theaters. Disney has already demanded a higher than normal percentage of ticket sales, around 65%, for The Last Jedi, as opposed to the standard 55%. That’s likely to become a standard for all big Disney films. And an extra 10% of the box office take from these films is already a big return for their money.
But the box office game is only part of the big news here for Disney. With a streaming service in the works, it would be highly unlikely we don’t see them make use of these franchises. It’s hard to imagine a service featuring Star Wars, X-Men, and real Avenger shows, not to mention all Disney films, not being successful. One need only look at CBS’s use of Star Trek to launch their service to see a far scaled down recipe for success.
The of course there’s the merchandising, for which Disney is the master, and theme parks. When you add all this together, it’s clear to see the value in the Fox acquisition for Disney; they know how to use every piece of the animal.
As Disney sets to roll out updated parks with Star Wars, Marvel, and Avatar themed attractions, it’s easy to see where the famed Disney business synergy is at work.
This leaves competing studios in a precarious situation. Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, and Warner Brothers all have their own franchises. But how well will the compete? Warner Brothers’ D.C. universe has been a complete disappoint, both critically and financially. Sony is counting on the success of Spiderman villain stories, like Venom. Universal is counting on their action films, including the new James Bond, Jurassic Park, and Dwayne Johnson films. And Paramount always has Star Trek. But it’s hard to imagine any of these studios building the kind of fervor Disney has for their content.