The internet exploded when news broke that Disney was actually buying Fox’s studios and cable TV channels for a mind-numbing $52 billion (or the combined worldwide box office of approximately 34.23 Avengers films, we did the math).
Yes, there were rumors of a pending merger for months leading up to the official announcement, but the deal was thought dead as recently as early-November, which made the sudden about-face all the more jarring.
Of course, all talk of the merger almost immediately went to the impact that it would have on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (you know, the most popular franchise in the freakin’ world), as it rightfully should.
Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s properties (or a majority of them anyway) means Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige will finally get back some of Marvel’s most popular characters, namely the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four.
However, the deal includes far more franchises than those that immediately impact the MCU. The deal gives Disney the production and distribution rights to literally dozens of hugely-popular film and television franchises.
Some of the biggest movies and TV shows to come out in the last thirty years now belong to the House of Mouse.
Here are the 20 Movie And TV Franchises You Didn’t Realize Disney Is Buying From Fox.
20. The Simpsons
This one may seem like a no-brainer on its surface, but with so much attention being paid to the 20th Century Fox films being purchased by Disney it would be easy to forget the first family of Fox is also migrating to the House of Mouse.
The Simpsons first premiered on Fox way back in 1989 and has enjoyed a staggering 29 seasons and 627 episodes since then. Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie endeared themselves to millions of households around the world during the mid-’90s, considered by many to be the show’s Golden Age.
Since then the show’s reviews and ratings have somewhat declined, yet it persists nonetheless. There’s no telling what will happen to Homer, Marge, et al when Disney officially takes over. Will Disney inject some much-needed life into the franchise or finally pull the plug? We’ll find out soon enough.
19. Star Wars
This one will almost-certainly lead to a boatload of comments, so let us explain. Yes, Disney already bought the rights to (a large percentage of) Star Wars back in 2012 when it originally purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas.
The deal was made for $4.05 billion and unofficially ousted Lucas from the franchise entirely. Lucas would stick around to pitch some ideas regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but according to the man himself, Disney ignored all of them.
Despite the acquisition of Lucasfilm, one key piece of ownership with regard to Star Wars remained outside of Disney’s grasp: the distribution rights to the original film. Those rights were sold exclusively to Fox by Lucas decades ago, and remained their until the mega-merger.
18. The X-files
That’s right, not only is The X-Files still on television, but it now belongs to Disney. The massive science fiction franchise first premiered way back in 1993 and became a moderate success by averaging 11.21 million viewers in its first season.
The viewership would gradually increase to its peak of 19 millions viewers for seasons four and five before a steady decline that led to the series being canceled in 2002.
Then came a big screen adaptation, 2008’s The X-Files: I Want To Believe, before the series returned to television full-time in 2016. The 11th season of the resilient series is currently set to premiere on January 3, 2018.
Who knows what adventures await Fox Mulder and Dana Scully now that Disney will be at the helm? Will the show remain as it is now or will the 11th season be the last in favor of a reboot somewhere down the line?
Kingsman is a comic series originally published in 2012 under the name The Secret Service. The series was then re-branded in 2014 to coincide with Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was released in theaters the same year.
The movie was lauded by critics and audiences alike, and earned more than $400 million at the worldwide box office on a budget of $81 million.
20th Century Fox naturally greenlit a sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which hit theaters in 2017. The sequel introduced the American equivalent to the Kingsman (the Statesman), but wasn’t as highly received (critically or financially) as its predecessor. Nevertheless, a third film is in the works, which Disney will produce and distribute.
16. Planet of the Apes
The Planet of the Apes franchise has a storied history. The original film from 1968 is iconic for its incredible ending that still holds up to this day, and the immediate sequels deserve their due credit for managing to keep the words “planet,” “of,” “the,” and “apes” in every title. (Seriously though, Beneath the, Escape from the, Conquest of the, and Battle for the are some of the best sequel titles of all time.)
Then came Tim Burton’s underwhelming remake in 2001 before the reboot trilogy returned the franchise to its former glory.
Rise, Dawn, and War are some of the best-reviewed entries in the series so far and have proven that audiences can’t get enough apes.
With the films performing well critically and financially, don’t be surprised if you see Disney’s Repopulating the, Building Cities on the, and Doing Laundry on the Planet of the Apes in theaters starting in 2020.
15. Fight Club
Although it has since earned the title of cult classic, 1999’s Fight Club actually had difficulty finding its audience at the box office. Despite the combined star power of Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter, the film only made $100 million worldwide on a $63 million budget.
Since then, however, it has taken its place as one of the most beloved (and most quotable) films of all time.
There is no telling what Disney will do now that it owns the rights to the franchise. And yes, it is indeed a franchise since a sequel does exist and was published as a comic book mini-series in 2015.
Fight Club 2 (also known as Fight Club 2: The Tranquility Gambit) centers around the re-emergence of Tyler Durden and takes place ten years after the original film. Whether or not Disney will adapt it to film remains to be seen.
14. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The mega-merger deal between Disney and Fox includes most of the latter’s subsidiaries, notably Fox 21 Television Studios, which primarily makes programming for cable channels, and FX Productions. One of FX Productions’ more popular shows (which is now Disney-bound) is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
The show’s first season premiered in 2005 and received a seven-episode run before strong word of mouth earned it a second season on FX.
The show has had a strong run since, concluding its 12th season in March of 2017, and making stars out of Charlie Day and Kaitlin Olson. In fact, the cast has gotten so popular that the show was forced to take a hiatus to allow its stars to film other projects.
13. Die Hard
Unlike the aforementioned Planet of the Apes franchise, which has had its fair share of ups and downs, the Die Hard franchise has been plagued with an abundance of downs and very few ups.
The original is a classic (and one of the best Christmas movies of all time), Die Hard 2: Die Harder performed better financially but worse critically, and Die Hard: With a Vengeance followed suit (better box office, but worse reviews).
Then 2007’s Live Free of Die Hard performed well with critics and audiences before 2013’s A Good Day to Die Hard destroyed all of its predecessor’s goodwill and caused the franchise to essentially, well, die hard.
Since then there have been rumblings of a prequel (Die Hard Year One), but nothing concrete. With Disney in charge, let’s hope future films are closer in quality to the first entry than they are to the fifth.
12. Modern Family
When Modern Family first premiered back in 2009, very few could have predicted how massively successful the show would become.
Nine seasons and 198 episodes later, the show is still one of the most popular on television today. It has won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, 6 Writers Guild of America Awards, and the 2012 Golden Globe for Best Television Series-Television or Comedy.
The cast is also one of the highest-paid in all of television today, with the adults allegedly making $500,000 per episode and the children making $100,000. And although the show appears on the Disney-owned ABC, the show was produced by 20th Century Fox.
The show’s lighthearted humor should fit in well at the House of Mouse, but declining ratings in the last few years could force Disney to make some changes in order to inject some life into the franchise.
11. Home Alone
There are five films in the Home Alone franchise. Take a moment to think about that. Five. First there is the classic original, which made Macauley Culkin a star and will always have a place in our hearts.
Then there’s the sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, which was a bit underwhelming but at least gave us a fabulous performance by Tim Curry.
The third one tried something new by focusing on a new kid, but was ultimately forgettable. Then the fourth went back to the basics, bringing back Kevin and Marv but with new actors in the roles. And then there’s Home Alone 5, which…exists.
Homeland is another franchise that likely slipped under the radar of the Disney-Fox merger because it is a Showtime series. The show is produced by Fox 21 and distributed by 20th Century Fox Television Distribution, however, making it part of the deal.
Homeland premiered in 2011 and immediately hit the ground running, earning the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series-Drama in each of its first two seasons.
Claire Danes, meanwhile, won two Golden Globes and two Primetime Emmy Awards for Best Actress in the show’s first two seasons for her role as Carrie Mathison. Damian Lewis also won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in the show’s second season.
Reviews and ratings for the show have remained steady throughout its six seasons, and Season seven is scheduled to premiere on February 11, 2018. Considering the overall success of the show, it’s likely Disney will leave it just the way it is.
In terms of quality, the Alien franchise can basically be broken down into four quarters.
The first two films (Alien and Aliens) are classics, the next two (Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection) are disappointing by comparison, the next two (Alien vs. Predator and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem) are pretty embarrassing, and the last two (Prometheus and Alien: Covenant) pulled the franchise from the abyss and set it on a much better course.
The Untitled Alien: Covenant Sequel (currently slated for a 2019 release) will bring the franchise into its fifth quarter (which doesn’t really make sense but just go with it) and hopefully return the series to its former glory.
The fact of the matter is xenomorphs are awesome, they procreate in the most terrifying way possible, and they should be featured in many films to come. With Disney in charge, the future of the franchise looks bright.
8. Family Guy
Fox’s second-most popular cartoon series of all time (behind the aforementioned Simpsons) is the hilarious, and often-controversial, Family Guy. The brainchild of Seth MacFarlane, the show premiered in 1999 but was canceled in 2002 after just three seasons.
After the cancellation, however, DVD sales for the show did so well that it led to Fox reviving the series in 2005.
The show returned with a vengeance, poking fun at Fox for the original cancellation and boasting impressive ratings for seasons four through nine. Ratings have since declined but not enough for Fox to pull the plug (again).
Ironically, fans of the show already got a glimpse of what the future could hold in the season eight premiere, Road to the Multiverse, which saw Brian and Stewie travel to a Disney universe. The episode featured the show’s characters drawn in a Disney-style animation, Disney-inspired songs, and, of course, some not-so-Disney jokes.
The Predator is right up there with the xenomorphs in terms of coolest extraterrestrial designs of all time. In fact, everything about the character is freaking awesome. Its look, its weapons, its backstory, heck even its morals are honorable (sure, it kills for sport, but it won’t go after weapon-less prey).
While the Predator’s cool factor cannot be questioned, the franchise is a different story entirely. The first film is a classic that put the Predator in the jungle and a one-on-one battle with Earth’s finest champion, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Then the sequel changed the location and the star, swapping Schwarzenegger for Danny Glover with diminished returns.
Then came the dreaded crossovers with the Alien franchise followed by 2010’s Predators, which added a fun wrinkle by setting the film away from Earth. The film received mixed reviews, however, so the franchise is getting another reboot with 2018’s The Predator.
6. American Horror Story
Now if there is one franchise that screams Disney, it is most definitely American Horror Story. After Glee premiered in 2009 and became a massive success, Fox went back to the show’s creator Ryan Murphy and basically asked, “what else have you got?” Murphy naturally returned with a horror anthology series for the FX network.
Overall, the series has been a massive success, consistently drawing high ratings in addition to critical acclaim. James Cromwell and Kathy Bates each won an Emmy for their performances in the show, and Lady Gaga won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film.
The series’ star, however, has undoubtedly been Jessica Lange who has won two Primetimes Emmy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Golden Globe for her performances.
Avatar is a fascinating film in every sense of the word. It is the highest grossing film of all time, by far ($2.788 billion worldwide, followed by Titanic with $2.187 billion), but is often criticized for being unoriginal and borrowing story elements from films like Dances with Wolves and Ferngully.
There was immense work done behind-the-scenes (including the creation of new filming technology, and a new language used in the film), and yet the finished product doesn’t feel as epic as it ought to.
Even more interesting is the fact that the immense success of the film led to four sequels being greenlit almost immediately afterward, and yet, eight years later, the original film remains the only entry in the franchise. That’s about to change though, with Avatar 2 and 3 set for release in 2020 and 2021, and 4 and 5 coming in 2024 and 2025.
Most of the television franchises acquired by Disney should face very few changes with the House of Mouse at the helm. Some may be asked to tone down their jokes a bit, but most should proceed with very little change, if any. Legion, however, is different.
The show centers around characters from the X-Men comics, but has been a bit murky with regard to where it fits in with the X-Men cinematic universe.
Some have suggested it takes place in a parallel universe. Others say it is in the same universe, but far from the X-Men movies. With the X-Men likely being incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe sometime in the future, that makes Legion’s future all the more unclear.
3. Independence Day
All things considered, Independence Day should probably have six or seven sequels by now. The original 1996 film had all the requisites for a massive action franchise. It had a good-looking and charismatic star in Will Smith, the quirky sidekick in Jeff Goldblum, extraterrestrials, telepathy, massive explosions, and one of the greatest speeches in the history of film.
What should have led to a series of cheesy, but fun action flicks featuring Will Smith punching loads of different extraterrestrials in the face was reduced to a single, Smith-less sequel released ten years after the original. Simply put, Independence Day: Resurgence was too little too late.
Now that Disney is in control of the franchise, there’s no telling what the future holds. Will we see another sequel without Will Smith? Will Disney revive the franchise’s best character (since he’s, you know, dead) and bring him back for the third entry? Or is a reboot on the horizon?
2. The Gifted
Unlike the aforementioned Legion, which has unclear ties to the X-Men series of films, The Gifted is very much set in the universe of the films. In fact, the show’s producers have dated the series as taking place some time after Legion, when mutants are largely misunderstood, but before Logan, in which Wolverine is one of the last mutants.
Also, while Legion’s ties to the MCU could be altered by the Disney deal, it’s highly unlikely the deal will have any effect on The Gifted. Matt Nix (the Showrunner) has noted that the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past have created multiple timelines within the X-Men cinematic universe, thus allowing the show to operate independently of the films.
1. X-Men/Fantastic Four
Ever since the Disney-Fox merger was announced, fans have envisioned a future in which the already-established MCU characters got to interact with the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.
However, while fans have been focused on the three hero groups, many have overlooked the other characters Disney (and by extension Marvel Studios) acquired in the deal. Specifically, the villains.
The major knock on the MCU so far has been a lack of compelling villains not named Loki. And even Thanos has remained largely in the background (although he looks like he’s about to kick some serious butt in Infinity War).
Yet still, with a complete lack of interesting villains, Marvel Studios has managed to create a cinematic universe unlike any the world has seen before.
Just imagine what Kevin Feige could do with the likes of Doctor Doom, Magneto, Galactus, and others at his disposal. Simply put, the MCU’s best days may still lie ahead.
Do you know any other movie and television franchises that Disney is buying from Fox? Which are you most excited to see? Let us know in the comments.
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