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20th Century Fox may be significantly downsized by Disney after the merger

3 days ago

With Disney's massive $71.3 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox moving forward, I can't imagine that the employees at Fox are having much fun at the moment. By this time next year, the studio as we know it may no longer exist, and a recent report from the Wall Street Journal certainly seems to suggest that Disney has some big plans for Fox.

Disney still needs to receive several regulatory approvals before the acquisition process is complete, so 20th Century Fox is continuing to run as it always has, making movies and developing new ideas, except the studio has no idea what Disney will do with these projects once it takes control. "We’re doing the only thing we know how to do, which is put one foot in front of another," a Fox executive told the WSJ. With the Disney takeover looming over their heads, some employees have already begun looking for other jobs, and it's feared that the studio could see a mass exodus near the end of the month after bonuses are handed out. It seems that there's a reason for these employees to feel uncertain about their futures, as the WSJ indicates that although the television wing of Fox will survive relatively unscathed, it's expected that Disney will significantly downsize Fox's feature-film division. The WSJ states that Disney will likely "scale back production of costly movies that don’t fit its family-friendly, franchise-focused formula," while taking over future installments of the AVATAR and X-MEN franchises.

Someone with knowledge of Disney's plans said they will "release all of Fox’s movies that are complete or in production at the time of the acquisition," but it's not entirely certain what Disney will do with those projects which are still in development. This uncertainty has unfortunately made it difficult for Fox to acquire new projects, as some agents and producers have become wary of working with the studio "People are making an effort to include [Fox] out of respect, but it’s not anyone’s first choice because you don’t know what the studio is going to be," said one movie agent. Two wings of Fox's movie division which are likely to survive the takeover are Fox Searchlight, which makes "prestige" films which will give Disney more awards credibility, and Fox 2000, which makes relatively inexpensive adult dramas which could be a good fit for the Hulu streaming service. As for the rest, it sounds like anything which doesn't fit into the PG-13 franchise mold may not have a future.

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