Disney Hasn't Bought 20th Century Fox Yet, But It May Be Coming

While hosting tonight's Coming Attractions trailer night, a show that really showcases the true strength Disney has over the Hollywood landscape, I mentioned offhand that the Mouse House was rumored to be in talks to buy 20th Century Fox as part of an unprecedented merger. It would have been a historic move, giving the most dominant entertainment force in the world one of the great legendary studios, with a library that includes Alien, the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Avatar, and yep, the original Star Wars trilogy and the prequels.

The talks were real, but they couldn't come to a deal. Not yet, anyway.

CNBC reports that talks between Disney and Fox have stalled. I look at it differently, though. Consider this the first round, if you will. A deal of this size doesn't happen overnight, and in this case they've been going on for weeks and you can bet they'll pick up again. Because what we know for sure is that Fox is looking to sell off its movie side and get out of the movie business entirely. All they're looking for is the right price. It's not hard to see why. The landscape has shifted underneath their feet. It's getting harder for movies to earn a buck, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, even AT&T, as well as VOD, are taking huge bites out of any profits. Competing with a giant like Disney is getting tougher. If you can't beat them, sell it off and stick to sports.

For Disney it's easy to see why they would want this. They get to add Fox's powerful library of franchises, which would only become stronger as Disney establishes their subscriber streaming service. Plus, they would be able to give fans the Holy Grail they've been clamoring for: the X-Men back home in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Spider-Man already there, the MCU would be whole for the first time. Oh yeah, and those Star Wars movies, too. Not only that, but Disney would become greater players in the awards season with the acquisition of Fox Searchlight.

So for now this isn't happening. But if Fox is looking to unload a huge portion of their assets there is nobody in a better position to get it than Disney, even if others are interested. I expect something will happen on this, one way or another.