Disney’s reign over Hollywood isn’t going to slow down any time soon.
Shareholders approved the $71 billion merger of Disney and Fox on Friday, giving the greenlight for Disney to finally acquire a large portion of Fox assets, including its film studio. That means that Disney will take possession of all of the Fox-owned superheroes and its other franchises, though its unknown what Disney plans to do with them, if anything.
It adds to an already dominant collection of assets owned by Disney that has raked in billions of dollars for the company under CEO Bob Iger’s leadership. They include some of the most popular, highest-grossing film franchises of all time.
Below are 14 major film franchises that Disney now owns:
Disney built itself on classic hand-drawn Disney fairy tales like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Cinderella.” In recent years, Disney Animation has seen a revival in popular CGI-animated movies like “Zootopia,” “Frozen,” and “Moana.” Later this year, a sequel to “Wreck-It Ralph,” called “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” comes to theaters.
Disney discovered with 2014’s “Maleficent” and 2015’s “Cinderella” that remaking its classic animated movies could result in big box-office numbers. Since then, “The Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast” have gotten the live-action treatment and raked in huge sums of money. Next year, Disney will release a remake of “The Lion King” from “The Jungle Book” director Jon Favreau.
Disney bought animation studio Pixar in 2006 in one of Bob Iger’s very first major acquisitions as CEO. Since then, two Pixar movies — “Toy Story 3” and “Up” — have been nominated for best picture Oscars. While the studio has been relying more frequently on sequels rather than original ideas in recent years, its movies are still highly successful. This summer’s “Incredibles 2” has made close to $950 million worldwide.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Disney bought Marvel Entertainment, including its film studio, in 2009, and since then the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become the highest-grossing franchise of all time. This year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” crossed $2 billion worldwide.
Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, and with it came the “Indiana Jones” franchise. The fifth film was recently pushed back from 2020 to 2021.
“Star Wars” obviously also came with Lucasfilm. Since the acquisition, Disney has released four “Star Wars” movies every year since 2015: two as part of a new trilogy in the main saga, and two spinoff movies. The first three were big box-office success stories, but the “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” which was released in May, likely lost the company money. “Episode IX” comes to theaters next December.
The “Alien” and “Predator” franchises’ R-ratings don’t necessarily fit the Disney brand, so it remains to be seen what will become of the movies. “The Predator,” directed by Shane Black, comes to theaters later this year.
“Avatar” remains the highest-grossing movie of all time, and director James Cameron has planned to release four sequels between 2020 and 2025.
It’s been five years since the last in the series, “A Good Day to Die Hard,” which has an atrocious 14% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and disappointed at the box office.
2015’s “Fantastic Four” tanked with audiences and critics, but throwing them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the Disney-Fox merger could revive the franchise.
“Ice Age” has been a successful animated franchise for Fox. While they’ve dipped in quality across the five movies, they’ve done well at the worldwide box office. The fourth movie, “Continental Drift,” grossed over $870 million globally.
Like other Fox franchises, the mature themes and violence of the “Kingsman” series would have a difficult time fitting in at Disney, but director Matthew Vaughn has plans for a third installment.
Planet of the Apes
The “Planet of the Apes” prequel trilogy wrapped up last year with “War for the Planet of the Apes” to widespread critical acclaim.
Fox’s biggest film franchise, the “X-Men” movies have managed to maintain a steady success rate for nearly two decades. There are a lot of story possibilities that the Marvel Cinematic Universe could take advantage of if it introduces a new version of the X-Men characters, but we’ll have to wait and see what Disney has planned.