This is the second in a two-part exploration of the Disney-Fox deal. You can read part one here.
Though the Disney Company’s $71.3 billion bid to acquire 21st Century Fox has been met by pop-culture fans with rapturous glee, the threat of Disney establishing a modern monopoly on the entertainment industry may become a reality in this deal. There’s a logic to Disney purchasing the company that owns major stock in the streaming market plus intellectual properties closely tied to them, such as James Cameron’s Avatar (2009). The deal, however, will lead to Disney owning an estimated 30% of the film industry. Many may not mind a company like Disney owning so much stake in one industry, but there’s major concern when one considers the mediocre quality of the art Disney has produced in the last decade.
This is the first in a two-part exploration of the Disney-Fox deal. Part two can be found here.
In July of 2018, the Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox, as well as its many assets in film, television, and streaming services, for a reported $71.3 billion. This should be no surprise, as Disney has been a face for cold American corporatism for decades. The squeaky clean façade Disney desperately upholds in the face of their relentless pursuit of capital has made them an easy target for both harmless lampooning and legitimate criticism. Unfortunately, conversations about media are swamped by a nostalgia-fueled pop-culture, further amplified by social media echo chambers. Whereas many fans will worship Disney’s purchase in hopes of the Fox-owned X-Men getting name dropped in Avengers 7: The Quest for More Money (2026), this acquisition should instead be met with grave concern about the effect a modern monopoly may have on the quality of future art across the entertainment industry.
The Star Wars universe is immense. Following Disney’s acquisition of the property some years ago, there was a hard reboot on the expanded universe which saw much of what was once considered canon being rebranded as “Legends”. Since then, there have been several Disney-sanctioned pieces of media which repaint the history and future of the main Skywalker storyline. Ron Howard’s Solo, which was plagued by reshoots and bad word-of-mouth, is the newest installment in the Disney-era of Star Wars, shedding some light on the backstory of a certain scruffy-looking nerfherder.