A very interesting statement here, from the Mouse’s Q3 2018 earnings conference call:
Our strategy is to give the studio what it needs to continue to do what it does best and to also expand the brand’s high-quality storytelling into the DTC space with original television and film projects. 20th Century Fox Film is yet another example. It gives us the opportunity to be associated with and to expand iconic movie franchises like Avatar, Marvel’s X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Deadpool, Planet of the Apes, Kingsman, and many others. We’re obviously very excited to leverage the Fox assets to enhance and accelerate our DTC strategy. But I want to be clear that we remain incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about the movie theater experience. It’s a vital part of our company and in fact, our studio just crossed $6 billion in global box office for the third year in a row.
DTC presumably means ‘direct to consumer;’ and if it weren’t for that ‘and to expand’ I’d just assume that Disney was planning to squeeze every cent out of those existing properties. But it clearly makes sense to make sequels for most of those movie franchises mentioned (they’re filming an Avatar sequel right now*). In fact, the inclusion of Fantastic Four on that list is interesting, because it’s the only one that wasn’t being talked up for a new entry in its particular franchise**. Well, it is now, because Disney bought Fox and in the process kindled a million flickering embers of hope in a million fans’ hearts. You can’t expect the Mouse not to notice that: the Mouse can smell potentially available cash from miles away. And, by God, they’ll get it from you.
So keep watching the skies!
*I will be curious to see whether Avatar II: The Humans Come Back With Orbital Kinetic Energy Weapons will have the same box office, ah, impact as Avatar I: Dances With Ferngully. Probably not, but it should make its money back.
**Yeah, they’re making more Kingsman movies. Kingsman: The Golden Circle brought in $411 million on a production budget of $104 million. And I can only assume that the studio wouldn’t mind going back to The Planet of the Apes universe and making a bunch more money there, too.