Disney To Prioritize Planet Of The Apes And Avatar Following Fox Deal
In March, Disney took control of Fox's entertainment assets, a deal which meant a number of big movie properties moving over to Disney. These include Marvel titles such the X-Men and Fantastic Four, long-running sci-fi franchises like Alien and Predator, and James Cameron's Avatar series. Five months down the line, we are starting to get an idea of where Disney's priorities lie with these inherited properties, and what we can expect more of in the future.
As reported by Variety, during the studio's quarterly earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that much of the development slate inherited from Fox was being axed. However, two properties that will definitely continue are Avatar and Planet of the Apes. Cameron is currently making several Avatar movies simultaneously--production stared in 2018 and the first of these is due in December 2021, with another three lined up over the coming years. Although is nearly ten years since the first Avatar was released, it was only toppled as the most successful movie of all time last month by Avengers: Endgame, and box office expectations are high for the sequels.
Planet of the Apes was also a hugely successful series for Fox--the recent trilogy grossed a total of $1.6 billion worldwide. However, no further movies in the franchise have been announced to date, and director Matt Reeves has moved over to DC to make the long-awaited The Batman.
As for the Marvel titles, we are unlikely to see any of those for some time. The recent X-Men movie Dark Phoenix was a financial failure, and contributed to an overall loss of $170 million for Fox's properties this year. In addition, Marvel has now announced its line-up for the next two years and beyond, and they do not include any of the Fox characters.
In related news, Disney has also announced plans to reboot a series of Fox family titles, including Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. All of these will appear on the studio's upcoming streaming platform Disney+, which launches in November. In addition, an additional pricing level has been announced for the service, which bundles it with ESPN+, and the ad-supported version of Hulu.
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