Pixar, Marvel, Lucasflim, now FOX… Is NETFLIX Next For Disney?
Pixar’s never ending hit machine of original films like COCO and upcoming sequels like The Incredibles 2. Now they have animated titans like The Simpsons, Family Guy and more.
The MCU is about to deliver one of the biggest cinematic events in history when The Infinity War begins in 2018. What is being built as the end of a grand plan now stands as a beginning of something far grander now that The X-Men & Fantastic Four are ‘home’.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is already being touted as the best Star Wars movie since Empire Strikes Back. The director of the 8th installment of the Skywalker saga, Rian Johnson has been given a blank check to create an all new Star Wars trilogy. All that in addition to spin off anthology films that began with Rogue One and continues with Solo next year. Now they have control of Avatar, Planet of the Apes, Aliens and more…
Before their unprecedented deal to acquire FOX’s movie and television divisions, the people crafted Disney’s biggest blockbusters were delivering a never ending string of hits. And it’s not just the big guns like Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. Disney’s live action adaptations of their animated classics are dominating too with The Lion King set to follow up on the success of films like The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast.
Their original animated films like Frozen & Moana proved that new princesses can find their place in the Mouse House.
The list goes on and on and, quite literally, on…
All those movies. All those TV shows. All those original properties. All belong to Disney.
The first word I thought of when the FOX/Disney deal was finally announced? Netflix.
Disney was very public about their plans to launch their own streaming service and pull their films from the streaming giant’s library. Let’s not forget about the popular TV properties they own and air on ABC, FOX, FX and more… It’s unavoidable. That amount of content would leave a big fat gaping hole behind.
But Netflix has the luxury of developing their own content right? Quality shows that push the boundaries of conventional television delivered in the binge format we’ve all come to adore. Will that content be strong enough to survive when Disney starts launching exclusive Star Wars and Marvel shows on their own service? If Disney gets into exclusive content game, their streaming service will be an attractive package.
I can’t speak for everyone but I stick to Netflix. I haven’t ventured into the worlds of Amazon Prime or HULU yet. The idea of paying for a second streaming service just doesn’t seem necessary. But a Disney streaming service would simply feature too much of the content I enjoy to avoid altogether.
However, I don’t think their properties are enough. Are they really willing to build up a completely new infrastructure and slowly build it over time? Isn’t it easier to just purchase the king?
I think Disney will continually pressure Netflix over the coming months/years. Eventually, their deal for the Defenders franchises will lapse too. Imagine Netflix without Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Fox and more. That doesn’t leave many big studios beyond Warner Bros, Sony, Universal and a few others to carry the load. But their biggest content is surrounded by questions right now. That’s the key. At the moment, Disney’s massive franchises are critical and box office darlings. Warner Bros DC Universe is struggling. Universal’s Fast and Furious franchise is strong but fighting among the stars has boiled to the surface. The latest Jurassic Park trailer wasn’t really the greatest either. You could argue that Sony is in a decent spot with their Marvel properties but Disney is thoroughly involved with those productions.
Questions… So many questions…
Netflix has amazing original content. That is undisputed. But they are taking on enormous amounts of debt to do so. Right now their lineup is stunning but it’s bolstered by the content that surrounds it. How long can they sustain such debt?
Just long enough for the powerhouse mouse house to make an offer?
It’ll be interesting to watch this inevitable face off play out in the coming years. What fascinates me is what the entertainment world would look like if Disney does buy Netflix. Will Disney exile films produced by other studios? Will Netflix simply be Disney + Original Content?
The ultimate dream is to have one streaming service with as much content as possible. Would Disney play nice with companies like Warner Bros, Universal and Sony? Will those companies pull out themselves? If Disney controls the distribution can they bury competitor films in favor of their own?
Are they even legally allowed to make such an acquisition? At a certain standpoint, Disney now owns (best guess) about 40-50% of the biggest blockbuster franchises at the top of the all-time box office charts.
Personally, I hope Disney starts their own streaming service. It will certainly rival Netflix almost immediately after launch. But competition is crucial in the entertainment world. (We’re talking about creativity here!) Disney may deliver amazing content but I want to see everything else too.
I love that Netflix takes risks. Shows like Stranger Things wouldn’t exist without a few big executives taking a chance on creativity and passion. I think Disney on one side with everyone else including Netflix on the other is a good thing for the Hollywood machine. Universal and Warner Bros certainly won’t back down.
It won’t be long before we get the answers to all these questions. Until then, just like their Lucasfilm acquisition, we get to analyze and breakdown all the possibilities for Disney’s current and brand new properties.
The entertainment world is a different now. Whether that is good or bad remains to be seen. But that doesn’t mean I’m not BEYOND excited to see the X-Men join the MCU!
(More on that later)