It's official: The Walt Disney Company just finalised a deal to purchase the film and television interests of 21st Century Fox, and as you might very well expect, it's one of the largest such deals in Hollywood history. Variety reports price tag the whole shebang as $66.1 billion, leaving it second only to the $103.5 billion merger of AOL and Time Warner in 2001.
The long-term ramifications of this deal are, of course, gargantuan. Given Disney already owns such media powerhouses as Marvel, Pixar, The Jim Henson Company and Lucasfilm, there are serious questions to be asked about media monopolies. The move must also leave a great many Fox employees uncertain about the security of their jobs, as well as casting doubt over the future of the entire Fox brand, and that of its often controversial (former) parent company News Corp.
Still, for those of us whose understanding of economics and business are dwarfed by our fervour for film, there is considerable excitement over what Disney may be able to do with all their new properties at their disposal. After all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the revived Star Wars franchise have gone from strength to strength since being ushered into the House of Mouse.
But while a large, vocal portion of fandom is most excited about what the deal means for Marvel, there are a great many more Fox film franchises about to come into Disney's control.