The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s movie and TV assets, namely Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox, may wrap up by the end of 2018. Late last year, the Mouse House made a whopping $52.4 billion bid to acquire 20th Century Fox, as well as 20th Century Fox TV, FX Networks, Fox Searchlight, and a host of other networks and studios, not to mention properties such as Avatar, Planet of the Apes, the Kingsman franchise, and much more.
Even though the landmark deal will have a significant impact on the filmmaking industry as a whole, particularly with regards to the recent string of independent and art-house movies produced and/or distributed by bigger studios, it is something that many moviegoers – primarily comic book movie fans – wanted to happen so that Marvel Studios could get their hands on the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. But Disney ran into some issues this year when other suitors came to the table. So when they upped their bid to $71.3 billion in cash and stock, it was too much for Fox to pass up – and so, they went forward with the deal.
In July, Fox and Disney shareholders both voted to approve of the deal, which had already gone through preliminary approval with the U.S. Department of Justice earlier in the summer. In doing so, the process to incorporate Fox’s assets into Disney officially got underway. While it usually takes about 18 months for the acquisition to run its course, Deadline now reports that some insiders claim it could actually be completed by the end of 2018, if not within the first few months of 2019.
In the grand scheme of things, when the acquisition completes doesn’t matter too much, but it would certainly be interesting to see how this plays out with regards to distribution. Since Fox’s resident mutant superhero team is at the forefront of this deal (at least in the eyes of the fans), and since Simon Kinberg’s Dark Phoenix has now been delayed to June 2019, it’s theoretically possible that Disney’s name will be attached to the blockbuster’s release due to the fact that it’s releasing after the merger acquisition finalizes. It’s the same reason a movie like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 had Lionsgate’s name under the Summit Entertainment logo when it released in 2012, which was just a few months after the studio was acquired by Lionsgate.
Ultimately, it doesn’t seem like it will be much longer for the Disney-Fox deal to be completed, regardless of whether it closes this year or next. What happens after that’s all said and done is the more serious matter, but that’s something we’ll just have to wait and see about.