Disney News Thread

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Re: Disney v Comcast

Postby mr.negativity » Wed May 09, 2018 10:09 am

THR 5/7/2018:
Comcast Lining Up Financing for Hostile Offer of Fox Assets (Report)
Abid Rahma wrote:Comcast is renewing its efforts to scupper Walt Disney Co.'s $52.4 billion deal to buy 21st Century Fox's media assets by readying a hostile all-cash offer, according to various media reports.

Reuters reported Monday that Comcast was in the process of asking investment banks to put in place a bridge financing facility valued at as much as $60 billion. Three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts only planned to proceed with the hostile bid if federal authorities cleared the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner deal.

Late last year, Fox accepted a $52.4 billion deal with Disney, which included the sale of the 20th Century Fox movie and TV studio and all the international pay TV properties, including the stake in British broadcaster Sky, as well as a number of other assets. The pact did not include Fox's broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, sports channels FS1, FS2 and the Big Ten Network, with those assets to be spun into a new company controlled by the Murdoch family if the deal with Disney was completed.

Comcast's initial bid for the Fox assets up for sale was reported to be higher at $64 billion, but was rejected by the company run by James Murdoch due to worries over antitrust issues. In February, Comcast was reportedly looking at reviving its failed bid for Fox, and reports on Monday suggested the company is securing the financing to outbid Disney.

As well as its aggressive pursuit of Fox assets, Comcast also made a $31 billion offer for 61 percent of Sky, topping Fox's bid for the shares in the company it didn't already own. Fox's bid for Sky has run into a number regulatory hurdles in the U.K., most notably over issues of media plurality and the future of Sky News.

On Monday, CNBC reported that Comcast now planned to acquire 100 percent of Sky as part of an improved all-cash bid. Sources told CNBC that if a Comcast-Disney bidding war for Fox and Sky were to happen, Comcast's bid for both companies could near $100 billion.
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Re: Disney v Comcast

Postby mr.negativity » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:44 pm

CNBC:
Comcast is preparing to announce bid for Fox on Wednesday if AT&T-Time Warner is approved, sources say
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby mr.negativity » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:23 pm

THR 6/13/2018:
Comcast Unveils $65 Billion All-Cash Bid for Fox, Topping Walt Disney's Offer
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby The Shadow » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:44 pm

I still don't understand how Comcast's offer can be serious. Comcast already owns NBC-Universal, why would regulators approve them another movie studio and another television network.
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby XvGojira » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:51 pm

Disney might be/becoming a media monopoly but Comcast is satan, so the more they get screwed over the better. #teamdisney #comcastcansuckit
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:14 am

Go Comcast! Keep the X-Men outta the MCU!
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby O.Supreme » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:21 am

Wishing the X-Men, who are part of Marvel Comics, to NOT be a part of Marvel...things truly have changes haven't they...
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:38 am

O.Supreme wrote:Wishing the X-Men, who are part of Marvel Comics, to NOT be a part of Marvel...things truly have changes haven't they...

I've read the main X-Men book(s) from inception up through Schism, and occasionally some of the side titles as well.

I vastly prefer when the X-Men do not interact with the rest of the Marvel comic universe. It has never sat well with me at all that the world of Marvel would openly accept and LOVE The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Thor, and other superheroes...and then hate mutants. I view it as very incongruous. I prefer when the X-Men, which I think is an expansive universe unto itself, with no need at all for the other Marvel characters, actually deals more with minority issues and being hated and feared, and that doesn't work well when Reed Richards is standing next to them.

GRANTED, I like the idea of a one-off where the X-Men actually confront the issue ("Why does everyone hate us but love Captain America?") but as a one-off. I don't need/want to see Cyclops fighting alongside Cap...
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby lhb412 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:19 am

XvGojira wrote:Disney might be/becoming a media monopoly but Comcast is satan, so the more they get screwed over the better. #teamdisney #comcastcansuckit


Yeah. As much as I hate the idea of a monopoly on pop culture Comcast is terrible.
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby mr.negativity » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:03 pm

lhb412 wrote:
XvGojira wrote:Disney might be/becoming a media monopoly but Comcast is satan, so the more they get screwed over the better. #teamdisney #comcastcansuckit


Yeah. As much as I hate the idea of a monopoly on pop culture Comcast is terrible.

CNBC June 13, 2018:
Disney shares turn around and rally amid growing doubts about its deal for Fox
Tae Kim wrote:One Wall Street analyst even offered the possibility of Comcast and Disney dividing the Fox assets.

"We would expect Disney to at least match Comcast by adding cash, and Comcast to appease [Rupert] Murdoch's tax concerns by offering stock, and some back and forth raising the deal bid," B. Riley analyst Barton Crockett said in a note to clients Wednesday. "Barring a third entrant (Internet/tech is possible), we would see the most sensible outcome as splitting the baby, with Comcast getting Sky (which we see as its main goal) and Disney getting most of the rest."


Deadline June 15, 2018:
Comcast’s Bid To Buy Euro Pay-TV Operator Sky Cleared By European Commission
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby O.Supreme » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:20 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:
O.Supreme wrote:Wishing the X-Men, who are part of Marvel Comics, to NOT be a part of Marvel...things truly have changes haven't they...

I've read the main X-Men book(s) from inception up through Schism, and occasionally some of the side titles as well.

I vastly prefer when the X-Men do not interact with the rest of the Marvel comic universe. It has never sat well with me at all that the world of Marvel would openly accept and LOVE The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Thor, and other superheroes...and then hate mutants. I view it as very incongruous. I prefer when the X-Men, which I think is an expansive universe unto itself, with no need at all for the other Marvel characters, actually deals more with minority issues and being hated and feared, and that doesn't work well when Reed Richards is standing next to them.

GRANTED, I like the idea of a one-off where the X-Men actually confront the issue ("Why does everyone hate us but love Captain America?") but as a one-off. I don't need/want to see Cyclops fighting alongside Cap...



That is fine, and appreciated. I grew up with mostly animated series, but I remember Secret Wars as the first HUGE crossover and I loved it. watching Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends with different Marvel heroes in each episode was great (two episodes had the X-Men which to me aren't different than any other superhero subset in Marvel Comics). Besides, Mutants aren't the only ones hated. Inhumans are hated, the HULK is hated. JJ hates Spider-Man, nobody likes Punisher, Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange, etc...it's not exactly a unique concept. During the many animated series of the 1990's, it was awesome to see the X-Men, Iron man, F4 etc.. all appear on Fox's Spider-Man animated series, again there was no distinction for me.

I'm not saying it has to be a regular thing, and as most people here know I vastly prefer animation to live-action anyway, but When I look at how profound The Infinity Gauntlet mini series was back in 1991, and to a lesser extent Infinity War in 1992, it was the sheer vastness of the characters involved that drew me to it. ALL the major characters, and most of the minor ones were all involved somehow, and that included the X-Men and F4. What Disney and the MCU has accomplished is amazing (for live action that is), I'll give them that. But there's still a huge emptiness when I read the comic as compared to the movies. I mean, it is really telling that when in 2010, a comedy show for kids, not even meant to be taken seriously (The Super Hero Squad), has a more robust take on the Infinity Gauntlet story than a major Hollywood studio. Also, all the snubbing annoys me to no end. I get that because of movie rights, currently F4 and X-Men characters appearing on film are part of 20th century Fox. But as far as all other mediums (printed, animated, merchandise in general etc...) there is no legality, but rather a self-imposed embargo to keep things "separate"

I mean if you look at Ultimate Spider-Man which ran for 4 seasons (104 episodes) from 2012-2017, Disney didn't even have the movie rights to Spider-Man until late 2014 when they worked a deal with Sony, and Disney bought Marvel back in 2009. Yet in the first 2 seasons of that show, X-Men characters would occasionally appear, but by season 3, which started airing in 2014 (and produced in 2013), all these characters disappeared, and in came the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Inhumans ,etc...characters Disney was really pushing. When I look at posters and T-Shirts of the overall marvel pantheon, and it's obvious that prominent X-Men and F4 characters are no longer acknowledged, it bugs me. When sequels to marvel Video games now have to include obscure characters I've never heard of, because they don't want to promote X-Men and F4, it makes me not want to even bother with them.

You see I don't have a favorite here. Disney has done some pretty messed up things IMHO, but the simple fact that a set of characters that for my entire life, all inhabited the same world, now seemingly don't, irritates me to no end. I'm not for or opposed any corporate merger. I couldn't really care less. All I want is for all these characters to be free (if the story to be told suits it), to be able to interact with each other. To be sure I don't want Iron Man and Wolverine to be on screen together just for the sake of it. That would be dumb. But if Galactus (Real Galactus not fart cloud ...)is coming to devour the earth, having EVERY Marvel Character on deck is not a bad idea.
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby Benjamin Haines » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:46 pm

lhb412 wrote:
XvGojira wrote:Disney might be/becoming a media monopoly but Comcast is satan, so the more they get screwed over the better. #teamdisney #comcastcansuckit


Yeah. As much as I hate the idea of a monopoly on pop culture Comcast is terrible.


The AVP tagline fits here. "Whoever wins, we lose." And whoever wins will be the new owner of the Alien and Predator franchises along with so many others.


jellydonut25 wrote:
O.Supreme wrote:Wishing the X-Men, who are part of Marvel Comics, to NOT be a part of Marvel...things truly have changes haven't they...

I've read the main X-Men book(s) from inception up through Schism, and occasionally some of the side titles as well.

I vastly prefer when the X-Men do not interact with the rest of the Marvel comic universe. It has never sat well with me at all that the world of Marvel would openly accept and LOVE The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Thor, and other superheroes...and then hate mutants. I view it as very incongruous. I prefer when the X-Men, which I think is an expansive universe unto itself, with no need at all for the other Marvel characters, actually deals more with minority issues and being hated and feared, and that doesn't work well when Reed Richards is standing next to them.

GRANTED, I like the idea of a one-off where the X-Men actually confront the issue ("Why does everyone hate us but love Captain America?") but as a one-off. I don't need/want to see Cyclops fighting alongside Cap...


Agreed 100%. There are enough characters in the X-Men franchise to sustain an X-Men cinematic universe. Fox's series is currently 11 films deep and there are still plenty of characters that haven't been utilized yet.

Look at something like Avengers: Infinity War. It's two and a half hours long and there are still some characters who get very little screen time compared to others, while even the more prominent characters like Iron Man or Thor don't have nearly as much screen time as they get in their respective starring vehicles. Likewise, even the longest X-Men movie with the biggest ensemble cast, X-Men: Apocalypse, still had to give certain characters less screen time than others. You mix the X-Men with a giant MCU ensemble and everyone gets three minutes of screen time at the most, if even that.

There's also the issue of how Marvel would even incorporate the existence of mutants into the existing cinematic universe. The Earth of the MCU is a world in which Captain America was a beloved American hero during World War II, a world in which people celebrated the Avengers after they saved New York from alien invaders, a world in which recorded sightings of the Hulk and Spider-Man are YouTube sensations and little kids are inspired by Iron Man and Black Panther. Short of rebooting the MCU, there's really no way to reconcile that reality with the prospect of mutants not fitting in with society because of their own unique attributes.


O.Supreme wrote:Also, all the snubbing annoys me to no end. I get that because of movie rights, currently F4 and X-Men characters appearing on film are part of 20th century Fox. But as far as all other mediums (printed, animated, merchandise in general etc...) there is no legality, but rather a self-imposed embargo to keep things "separate"

I mean if you look at Ultimate Spider-Man which ran for 4 seasons (104 episodes) from 2012-2017, Disney didn't even have the movie rights to Spider-Man until late 2014 when they worked a deal with Sony, and Disney bought Marvel back in 2009. Yet in the first 2 seasons of that show, X-Men characters would occasionally appear, but by season 3, which started airing in 2014 (and produced in 2013), all these characters disappeared, and in came the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Inhumans ,etc...characters Disney was really pushing. When I look at posters and T-Shirts of the overall marvel pantheon, and it's obvious that prominent X-Men and F4 characters are no longer acknowledged, it bugs me. When sequels to marvel Video games now have to include obscure characters I've never heard of, because they don't want to promote X-Men and F4, it makes me not want to even bother with them.

You see I don't have a favorite here. Disney has done some pretty messed up things IMHO, but the simple fact that a set of characters that for my entire life, all inhabited the same world, now seemingly don't, irritates me to no end. I'm not for or opposed any corporate merger. I couldn't really care less. All I want is for all these characters to be free (if the story to be told suits it), to be able to interact with each other. To be sure I don't want Iron Man and Wolverine to be on screen together just for the sake of it. That would be dumb. But if Galactus (Real Galactus not fart cloud ...)is coming to devour the earth, having EVERY Marvel Character on deck is not a bad idea.


Maybe you should care a little more about the corporate maneuvering at play here. Do you realize that The Walt Disney Company, not 21st Century Fox, has been responsible for all of the snubbing of certain characters in comics, animation and merchandise that annoys you to no end? Do you realize that your position, whether you mean it this way or not, is essentially that Disney should be rewarded for doing that by getting the character film rights that Fox currently holds? If Disney obtains those rights then that means that snubbing those characters in non-film media for so many years was actually a worthwhile endeavor for Disney in the long run. It would validate the snubbing, especially if it gets people like you who hate the snubbing to turn right around and cheer for Disney's victory in this matter.
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby O.Supreme » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:00 pm

Benjamin Haines wrote: Do you realize that The Walt Disney Company, not 21st Century Fox, has been responsible for all of the snubbing of certain characters in comics, animation and merchandise that annoys you to no end?


o.supreme wrote:Disney has done some pretty messed up things IMHO


Benjamin Haines wrote:Do you realize that your position, whether you mean it this way or not, is essentially that Disney should be rewarded for doing that by getting the character film rights that Fox currently holds? If Disney obtains those rights then that means that snubbing those characters in non-film media for so many years was actually a worthwhile endeavor for Disney in the long run. It would validate the snubbing, especially if it gets people like you who hate the snubbing to turn right around and cheer for Disney's victory in this matter.


So...not that I have any say in this anyway...but if Disney is denied 21st century Fox, then I don't get what I want..., but I can say to Disney "Yeah we showed! You!"...and continue to be less and less interested in things I used to like to the point I no longer like them...ok then.

Again, I don't want Disney to own 21st century Fox. I just want all Marvel characters to be free to interact in any medium as it used to be, that's all. But if greed and selfishness are all anybody cares about, then it's probably better I leave it all behind.
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby Benjamin Haines » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:30 pm

^ But with the sole exception of live-action film, Marvel's characters ARE free to interact in any medium. When it comes to comic books, animation, video games and merchandise, it is Disney that is choosing to downplay or totally snub the characters of the X-Men and F4 pantheons, and they do it entirely out of greed and selfishness. They don’t have to, they want to, because Disney regards Marvel Entertainment’s characters as film assets first and foremost and treats all other media as ancillary platforms for boosting the film franchises.

That’s how much Disney actually cares about the Marvel characters. Greed and selfishness are why Disney has taken to snubbing certain characters in non-film media, and that’s also what’s driving Disney to try to buy Fox. Can you really criticize that kind of greed and selfishness when it seems like the only thing coloring your opinion about the merger is whether you get the outcome that you personally want? Disney has shown that they would sooner cancel a long-running Marvel comic book than potentially give a rival studio’s film any free promotion. Even if that particular scenario wouldn’t arise in the future after this merger, Disney clearly doesn’t care about Marvel’s characters beyond what they mean for the company’s bottom line, so all I can say to that is be careful what you wish for…
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:41 pm

THR JUNE 19, 2018:
Pete Docter, Jennifer Lee to Lead Pixar, Disney Animation
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Re: Disney v Comcast

Postby mr.negativity » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:43 am

THR 6/20/2018:
Disney Boosts Fox Bid to $71.3 Billion in Cash and Stock
Georg Szalai & Etan Vlessing wrote:Walt Disney said Wednesday that it has boosted the value of its takeover agreement for large parts of 21st Century Fox to $71.3 billion in cash and stock, following Comcast’s $65 billion all-cash offer from June 13.

The Comcast offer was for the same entertainment assets that Walt Disney had in December agreed to acquire for $52.4 billion in stock.

Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger during an analyst call said his company was better placed than Comcast to secure regulatory approval for its 21st Century Fox assets bid. "We have a much better opportunity in terms of approval and the timing of that approval than Comcast does in this case... We are confident that we have a clear and timely path to approval," Iger argued.

He added his studio's advantage in the regulatory realm was underlined by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon last week issuing his blockbuster decision in the landmark antitrust lawsuit over the $80 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner. Iger specifically cited Judge Leon arguing a vertical merger can "generate competitive harm."

He added Comcast's dominance in the U.S. high-speed broadband market was more likely to raise alarm bells with regulators than Disney's film, TV and distribution assets, which he insisted will represent a "compelling proposition" for consumers if merged with the 21st Century assets now up for grabs.

"The dominance in broadband and cable and when you factor in their content ownership already, including a major broadcast network and multiple television stations and multiple cable channels, it's just simply an apples to oranges comparison to what the Justice Department was considering in the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner," Iger told analysts about Comcast after the U.S. cable giant cited AT&T prevailing in the anti-trust trial to acquire Time Warner to justify its own bid for the 21st Century Fox assets.

The Disney chief added his studio was already six months into dealing with regulators, which represented a "meaningful head start." Iger also declined to give an update on Disney's separate deal in principle to acquire the Sky News network from European pay TV giant Sky.

"Fox is in the driver's seat," Iger told analysts. The new Disney-Fox deal, unveiled by the conglomerates early Wednesday, is worth $38 per share in cash and stock, or $71.3 billion. Shares in 21st Century Fox opened in morning trading up $2.76, or just over 6 percent, to $47.05 on the NASDAQ Exchange.

Disney also will assume about $13.8 billion of Fox's net debt, which would boost the total transaction value to approximately $85.1 billion.

"Under the amended agreement, 21st Century Fox shareholders may elect to receive, for each share of 21st Century Fox common stock, $38 in either cash or shares of Disney common stock," Disney said. "The overall mix of consideration paid to 21st Century Fox shareholders will be approximately 50 percent cash and 50 percent stock."

ox's board met Wednesday and was understood to be weighing the price tags of bids for the Fox assets that are for sale along with tax bills, which are higher for cash bids, regulatory concerns and other issues.

Fox around 8 a.m. ET said the sweetened Disney offer was "superior" to Comcast's. "We are extremely proud of the businesses we have built at 21st Century Fox, and firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace at a dynamic time for our industry," said Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of Fox. "We remain convinced that the combination of 21st Century Fox's iconic assets, brands and franchises with Disney's will create one of the greatest, most innovative companies in the world."

Disney again emphasized the business and strategic benefits of the takeover, which includes the Fox film and TV studio, FX, NatGeo, Fox's 30 percent stake in Hulu and its international assets, including Star India and its 39 percent stake in European pay TV giant Sky.

"The acquisition of 21st Century Fox will bring significant financial value to the shareholders of both companies, and after six months of integration planning we’re even more enthusiastic and confident in the strategic fit of the assets and the talent at Fox,” Iger earlier said in a statement. "At a time of dynamic change in the entertainment industry, the combination of Disney’s and Fox’s unparalleled collection of businesses and franchises will allow us to create more appealing high-quality content, expand our direct-to-consumer offerings and international presence, and deliver more personalized and compelling entertainment experiences to meet growing consumer demand around the world."

Jefferies analyst John Janedis has said the bidding could go as high as $80 billion if Comcast and Disney continue to battle for Fox.

Fox on Wednesday also postponed a planned shareholder meeting that had been scheduled for July 10 to vote on the Disney deal in a potential sign that the company isn't ruling out a Comcast counter. The company "has determined to postpone its special meeting of stockholders to a future date in order to provide stockholders the opportunity to evaluate the terms of Disney's revised proposal and other developments to date."

Comcast, led by chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, officially bid for the assets, which include the Fox film and TV studio, FX, NatGeo, Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu, Star India and a 39 percent stake in European pay TV giant Sky, a day after a judge ruled that the Justice Department couldn’t prevent telecom giant AT&T from buying Time Warner for $85.4 billion.
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Re: Disney v Comcast

Postby mr.negativity » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:47 am

/film:
Fox Accepts Disney’s $71.3 Billion Bid for 21st Century Fox, Topping Comcast’s Latest Offer [Updated]
Ben Pearson wrote:Update 6/20/2018: Bloomberg reports that Fox has accepted a $71.3 billion bid from Disney, which tops Comcast’s previous offer of $65 billion. Disney’s new offer “gives Fox shareholders the option to take their payment in the form of cash or stock, up to a 50-50 level”, and the company will also “take on about $13.8 billion of Fox’s net debt”, which brings the total value of the deal to north of $85 billion.


THR 6/27/2018:
Disney-Fox Deal Approved by Department of Justice
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Re: Disney v Comcast

Postby mr.negativity » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:10 pm

The New York Times:
Comcast Pulls Offer for Fox Assets, Ending Bidding War With Disney


THR 7/26/2018:
Comcast CEO on Dropping Out of Fox Bidding: We "Couldn’t Build Enough Shareholder Value"
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Re: Disney v Comcast

Postby mr.negativity » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:15 am

THR 7/27/2018:
Disney, Fox Shareholders Approve $71.3 Billion Deal

AVENGERS 4 SPOILERS!
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby mr.negativity » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:46 pm

THR OCTOBER 03, 2018:
'Lilo & Stitch' Live-Action Remake in the Works at Disney (Exclusive)
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby mr.negativity » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:45 pm

VARIETY OCTOBER 10, 2018:
Fox Will be Ready to Close Disney Deal Jan. 1, Says Peter Rice (EXCLUSIVE)
Daniel Holloway wrote:Fox will be logistically ready for its pending mega-deal with the Walt Disney Co to close Jan. 1, top exec Peter Rice told employees Wednesday.

Rice, the 21st Century Fox president who is set to join Disney as a top TV exec when the deal closes, addressed staffers at a town-hall meeting on the Fox lot in Los Angeles. He was joined onstage by John Nallen, the 21st Century CFO set to become COO of so-called New Fox, the company that will be spun out the remaining Fox assets not being picked up by Disney.

Rice reiterated that the deal is still on track to close sometime in the first half of 2019, either in the first or second quarter. But he said that structure of new Fox — down to elements such as human resources and payroll — will be ready to go by the first of the year.

According to sources in the meeting, Rice told employees that the Disney deal, announced in December of last year, will be ready to close Jan. 1. He also assessed the uncertainty generated by the agreement — which appeared endangered earlier this year when Comcast made its own, ultimately failed play for Fox — but sought to buck up both those staying at the Fox and those moving under the Disney umbrella. He and Nallen fielded questions in person and online, with Rice handling the Disney-related questions and Nallen answering those pertaining to New Fox.

Many questions related to shared services — jobs that may straddle both companies. Rice acknowledged that the deal will lead to employee layoffs.

Handling a question about the potential for culture clash, Rice noted that Disney has successfully absorbed multiple organizations in the past. Acquisitions of Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm notably kept the uniue cultures of those organizations largely intact. Rice also touted Disney’s creative bona fides — calling it the only media conglomerate founded by an artist rather than a telephone or cable company.

The town hall was the first of two slated to take place today on the lot, with the second scheduled for 3 p.m. Other top Fox executives on hand included Fox Television Group’s Gary Newman and Dana Walden, and FX’s John Landgraf.

The town hall took place as the shapes of New Fox and post-deal Disney are beginning to beginning to come into focus. Disney announced Monday that Rice will, as anticipated, join the company as head of its entertainment TV operations after the acquisition closes. Serving chairman of Walt Disney Television, he will be joined by Walden, who will report to him as chairman, Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment. Other top Fox TV execs, including Landgraf and National Geographic’s Gary Knell are also set to head to Disney.


Deadline October 8, 2018:
Disney-Fox Film Structure Coming Next: Alan Horn Atop Divisions, Streaming Big Priority
Mike Fleming Jr wrote:Now that Disney has set the hierarchy of Fox TV executives who’ll be part of the merged entities, next comes the film division. Sources said there shouldn’t be much surprise when an announcement is made as early as later this week.

Alan Horn, the veteran exec who was unceremoniously pushed out at Warner Bros and then came to Disney and stabilized static divisions that has led to an unparalleled run, will be top dog. Reporting to him will be Sean Bailey, the Walt Disney Studios president who’ll be a central player in all this, as well as Pixar chief Pete Docter and Walt Disney Animation’s Jennifer Lee, Marvel’s Kevin Feige and Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy. Latter re-upped months ago, but word just leaked out recently.

As for Fox, it looks like the biggest exec who won’t be joining for the long term is Stacey Snider, the 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO. She’ll leave when the deal officially closes, but until then will see through the release of The Hate U Give, The Favourite, Bad Times at the El Royale and the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

On the TV side, the top leadership of both ABC Studios (president Patrick Moran) and 20th TV/Fox 21 (presidents Jonnie Davis, Howard Kurtzman and Bert Salke) will remain intact per today’s announcement.

20th Century Fox vice chairman Emma Watts is sitting pretty, expected to continue shepherding a slate of adult-themed films, even as Marvel titles like X-Men are expected to come under Feige’s domain. She is also expected to have oversight in that studio’s relationship with Hulu, one that will become an important generator of content expressly for OTT.

Snider, a well-read exec who has been managing studio-sized slates her whole career, would be an asset for any tech company planning to enter the content-creation space in film. Rumor has a major or two eyeing her also.

It looks like Fox 2000 and its chief Elizabeth Gabler will also continue to generate films; a tell was when Gabler herself brokered a first-look feature deal with Greg Berlanti, and also Fox Searchlight, whose Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley are coming off the Oscar Best Picture win for The Shape of Water, and whose up-and-coming execs Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum became co-heads of production there and also are spearheading a TV division. They were behind a first-look deal recently made with Element Pictures partners Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, the duo that produced The Favourite and the Oscar-winning Room. Greenfield and Greenbaum were heavily courted by Netflix.

Below that is anyone’s guess. Some execs will surely be moving on and there have already been surprises. Like when highly regarded Disney exec Tendo Nagenda exited recently, two years into a four-year deal, to join Netflix in a prominent position. There are sharp executives, but they will have to wrap their arms around the fact that a large part of their focus will be streaming-service movies, a jolt for execs who’ve been shepherding theatrical-release films for years.
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby mr.negativity » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:33 am

THR 10/19/2018:
Disney-Fox Merger: Combined Box-Office Strategy Begins
Pamela McClintock wrote:In recent days, 20th Century Fox has been quietly been rearranging its release calendar, no doubt in anticipation of the $70 billion-plus Disney-21st Century Fox marriage. Late last week, 20th Century Fox announced it was pushing back the release of Death on the Nile, a star-studded sequel to Murder on the Orient Express, from Dec. 20, 2019 to Oct. 2, 2020.

In its earlier date, Nile would have opened opposite Disney and Lucasfilm's untitled Star Wars: Episode IX. Fox also pushed Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt, from January to late May, while relocating the action-comedy Stuber from May to July.

Federal regulations prohibit Disney and Fox film executives from directly coordinating their efforts during the merger process, but the proverbial handwriting is on the wall. Soon — providing there are no 11th hour glitches — Disney will begin releasing titles from a scaled 20th Century Fox proper, Fox Searchlight and Fox 2000, furthering expanding its ever-growing marketshare.

On Thursday, Disney announced that 20th Century Fox Film vice chairman and president of production Emma Watts will hold the same title when joining its ranks. Ditto for Searchlight co-chairmen Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley, as well as Fox 2000 chief Elizabeth Gabler. All three entities will contribute separately to the Disney portfolio.

"The addition of these respected film groups under the umbrella of The Walt Disney Studios will create endless possibilities as we continue to deliver first-rate motion pictures to audiences around the world," said Disney Studios chairman Horn, to whom the four will report. "This is an experienced group of executives, and Alan Bergman and I look forward to welcoming them to our leadership ranks upon completion of the acquisition."

The acquisition of Fox's film assets is the latest coup for Walt Disney Co. chairman-CEO Robert Iger after buying up Pixar Studios, Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios, which co-exist as separate brands alongside Disney's own live action studio and Disney Animation.

Disney's domination has surged in the past several years. It currently commands an unprecedented 30 percent of marketshare at the domestic box office, which will only grow upon the Fox merger. Fox's marketshare is roughly 9 percent; if Disney and Fox were already under one roof, that would equal 40 percent of the marketplace.

Disney's film studio, led by Alan Horn, can certainly handle more product. Last year, Disney released only eight films, far fewer than any other major studio. Fox released 14, although Fox isn't expected to have the same volume going forward. Nor is it clear how many films from the various Fox brands will directly feed Disney's streaming services.

The marquee Fox franchises Disney inherits includes James Cameron's Avatar series, while Fox superhero properties such as X-Men and Deadpool will move to Marvel Studios. Watts will continue to shepherd Avatar. The long-in-the-making Avatar sequel, now in production, is set to open in theaters on Dec. 18, 2020 (Disney doesn't have a Star Wars pic set for that year corridor.)

Watts will also guide the Kingsman franchise. The third film in the series was recently dated for Nov. 8, 2019, a weekend that doesn't conflict with a film from Disney (Frozen debuts on Nov. 27).

It isn't clear when Disney will take over marketing and distributing Fox films. Sources don't believe that will happen until after Alita: Battle Angel, set for release on Feb. 14 (it was originally set to open Dec. 21). The movie is directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron's Lightstorm.

Fox's X-Men spinoff Dark Phoenix could be the first film released by Disney. Its release was recently pushed from February to June 7, a date that doesn't conflict with any movie from Disney.

Other 2019 Fox films include New Mutants (Aug. 2), Spies in Disguise (Sept. 13), Fox 2000's The Woman in the Window (Oct. 4) and The Call of The Wild (Dec. 25). Fox's 2020 release calendar is far less crowded (that makes sense, since Fox has known about the merger since last December, so has slowed down in terms of dating movies.)



/film November 10th, 2018:
Walt Disney Imagineering TV Show Heading to Disney+
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby mr.negativity » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:12 am

COLLIDER:
‘Paddington’ Director Paul King Reportedly off Disney’s Live-Action ‘Pinocchio’


COLLIDER:
Disney Prepping Live-Action ‘Hunchback’ Movie with Josh Gad Producing
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Re: Disney's Bad Robot?

Postby mr.negativity » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:16 am

Deadline January 16, 2019:
Bad Robot: Sizing Up the Field As Race To Land JJ Abrams’ Business Enters Home Stretch
Mike Fleming Jr and Nellie Andreeva wrote:The courtship process is heating up, the one that will bring JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot banner — film, television and possibly other platforms — away from Paramount and into a big new studio deal or an independently financed alternative.

Sources with knowledge of the bake-off said that Universal, Disney and Warner Bros are the major studios battling it out, with Disney and Warner Bros. — which has housed Bad Robot’s TV division — considered favorites, but with Universal pulling out all the stops to win the deal. Apple is also an intriguing alternative, as the cash-rich company looks to make Abrams a fulcrum for its own creative content ambitions in Hollywood.

No term sheet was submitted by Abrams’ advisory team of CAA and attorneys Alan Wertheimer and Jim Jackoway. Interested parties were told that Abrams’ bold plans encompass major initiatives in video games via its recently launched venture Bad Robot Games, live theater and music in addition to Bad Robot’s established output in film and television.

Apple’s tech prowess could play in its favor, and it could be a landing place for Bad Robot, though observers also do not discount a potential bid from streaming giant Netflix, or even deep-pocketed Amazon, which had been on the hunt for a mega film-TV deal with A-list talent. Word is that Sony, a traditional film-TV studio whose parent company has strong positions in electronics and gaming, also is making a play for Bad Robot.

It has been left up to the suitors to make proposals on size of the deal, put pilots and features, and other every other facet. Sources said Paramount, which long held the Bad Robot film deal, is getting a courtesy meeting as negotiations get hot and heavy over the next few weeks. But it is expected to come down to the studios that have the biggest platforms, including theme parks, music labels, TV, merchandising and concrete plans for streaming services that can best suit Bad Robot’s creative ambitions. People in the mix said Abrams is making a big play here to establish his legacy, on a host of platforms. He plans to ramp up, very aggressively.

Paramount has been paying an eight-figure yearly overhead on Bad Robot, but the outcome has been a mixed bag, and the relationship hasn’t always been easy. The late Brad Grey and his team brought in Abrams in 2006, after their collaboration on Abrams’ feature directorial debut on Mission Impossible III. Abrams directed three features in the first seven years of the partnership, two Star Trek films and Super 8, but the filmmaker, who is not exclusive to Paramount as a director, has spent most of the last five years at Disney, directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars – Episode IX, stepping in when Lucasfilm parted ways with Colin Trevorrow. The latter has a December 2019 release date, and word is Abrams once again couldn’t pass up a chance of a lifetime. A Bad Robot extension came with an agreement he would direct a film for Paramount, but he did his second Star Wars film instead.

There is a feeling at Paramount that if Abrams wasn’t so preoccupied with his directing projects that creating billions of dollars in revenue for rival Disney, Abrams’ creative expertise could have helped producing projects like the underperforming Overlord and The Cloverfield Paradox, latter of which was offloaded to Netflix, which launched with a Super Bowl spot. It was also roundly panned by critics.

Some of those who question how high to go on this deal note that while heavyweights like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and up and comers like James Wan originate franchises, Abrams’ great gift has been to rehabilitate and breathe new life into existing IP. That is something that Jon Favreau has also done exceptionally well, turning Disney animated classics The Jungle Book and The Lion King into live-action films. Abrams has done this not only by relaunching Star Wars for Disney and helming Star Wars: Episode IX, but also with Star Trek and Mission: Impossible for Paramount. Latter film has been Paramount’s brightest franchise since Abrams and Tom Cruise worked together to resurrect it when the franchise seemed out of gas.

But even if he hasn’t hatched much new IP, Abrams is viewed as the equivalent of a five-tool baseball player free agent. His value as director, producer and talent magnet makes this an overall deal that doesn’t come around that often. Particularly since he will bring both his film and television deals under the same roof. According to industry sources, if established creators like Shonda Rhimes, Ryan Murphy and Greg Berlanti boast TV deals worth $300 million or more, Abrams could top all of them and perhaps reach $500 million, for everything.

So who will win the deal? Some close to the jockeying said that it might be Disney’s to lose, for a number of reasons. The studio has a network and the most successful movie studio in town, by far, and that its theme parks also become attractive. In addition, they say that Abrams has developed a close relationship with Disney chief Bob Iger, forged in the editing room on those Star Wars films. The studio is making a strong OTT play that would allow Bad Robot to be as prolific as it desires, and the studio could give Abrams his own silo to generate theatricals. He could become Disney’s answer to Spielberg. The potential downside: Disney already has its established silo system, with Pixar, Lucasfilm and Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios, plus a program of transferring animated classics into live-action family films that leave little room for anything else on its slate. Plus, Disney contracted to inhale the film and TV assets of 20th Century Fox, and the digestion process hasn’t yet begun. It is going to be a crowded place.

Warner Bros’ strength is deep pockets, and an established relationship with Abrams through its television division. Bad Robot has been a prolific supplier of series, including Westworld, the Stephen King homage Castle Rock, Person of Interest, Almost Human and Fringe. The company has three upcoming scripted series, Demimonde at HBO, which marks the first TV series solely created by Abrams since Alias; a limited series starring Jennifer Garner at Apple and romantic dramedy Little Voice, also at Apple.

Bad Robot has significantly ramped up its TV operation since bringing former BBC drama chief Ben Stephenson to head the division, expanding the company’s portfolio at an opportune time as it is seeking a new home.

As it is preparing for the next chapter, Bad Robot also has been bulking up its film slate, recently announcing six new feature projects from a number of up and coming filmmakers.

But in terms of the most toys: Warner Bros shed its co-ownership of the Six Flags theme parks. Time Warner and its partner Boston Properties last February sold Six Flags to Premier Parks for $965 million, plus the assumption of $890 million in debt.

Warner Bros subsequently opened a branded theme park with development partner Miral in the United Arab Emirates and its Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi is said to be every bit as thematically ambitious as the Disney and Universal theme parks. Does it matter? Warner Bros’ most successful franchise, Harry Potter, has a massively lucrative theme park component: at Universal. The park pays Warner Bros handsomely for the wildly popular Harry Potter attraction Wizarding World, but if Abrams wants to go to a place which has every toy, Warner Bros doesn’t check that box.

Universal has many of the toys Disney does, including strong global broadcast platforms with NBC and Sky, its own theme parks and strong movie and TV divisions. But if you are considering intangibles, here is one: Although Abrams directed the film Super 8 as loving homage to mentor Spielberg, does he want to be at the place where Spielberg casts such a long shadow? Spielberg has gotten more selective in recent years, and Universal has a strong track record for franchise launching with its silos Illumination Entertainment and Blumhouse. They’ll push that success rate as Abrams moves into more of a franchise hatcher.

And then there is the indie route, with some noting that it would be tempting for Abrams to try and build his own empire. There likely won’t be a shortage of financiers willing to pony up big money to back such a venture, with some observers pointing TPG, which owns a majority stake in Abrams; agency CAA, as a possibility. Stay tuned. The drama is expected to begin playing out over the next week or two.
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Re: Disney News Thread

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:53 pm

VARIETY JANUARY 29, 2019:
Inside Disney’s Daring Dive Into the Streaming World
Cynthia Littleton wrote:Bob Iger has repeatedly called it the “highest priority” of the Walt Disney Co.

The launch of Disney Plus has become the talk of the entertainment industry — for creatives, for tech mavens and for Wall Street — as production and development of original series and movies accelerate for the streaming service, slated to debut in the U.S. by year’s end.

Disney, under the leadership of chairman-CEO Iger, has re-engineered its operating segments and reshuffled its management ranks to prepare for its streaming future. The Burbank media giant has made big investments in technical infrastructure. And Iger rocked the Hollywood establishment in 2017 with his dogged pursuit of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox entertainment empire. He was hunting for the kind of IP that can help drive Disney Plus and future platform offerings, and lend itself to exploitation through Disney’s well-oiled franchise machine.

Now that the Fox acquisition is near the finish line, with a projected close by March, industry sources say pressure is mounting inside Disney’s film and TV units to grapple with the force of a number of headwinds at once. They’re tasked with stepping up their overall output — significantly in the case of its movie units — at a time when they’re also bracing for what will surely be a massive process of integrating the contingent of Fox executives who will make the transition.

Layoffs of duplicative staffers are expected to reach into the hundreds, perhaps thousands. Adding still more drama, the end of the Fox merger limbo starts the beginning of a potential rivalry between Kevin Mayer, the Disney veteran overseeing the Direct-to-Consumer and International division, and Peter Rice, the long-serving Fox executive who is the incoming chairman of Walt Disney Television, to succeed Iger as CEO. A senior Disney TV executive described the atmosphere at the Burbank studio as “tense.”

It’s become clear to Disney watchers that Iger — who says he plans to step down when his contract expires in 2021 — has staked part of his legacy on proving that the empire can strike back against Netflix and the upstarts that have so dramatically disrupted Hollywood’s old order. Insiders say the chief executive has been taking a strong hand in leading programming check-in meetings with the company’s various divisions.

Questions about how it will manage the transition from traditional distribution models into the walled garden of direct-to-consumer services are so numerous that Disney has scheduled an Investor Day presentation on the topic for April 11. The company is also hoping to dazzle with a demo of the service and a sneak peek at some of the programming in the works.

Wall Street sources say Disney will have to shed light on three key points in pitching the streaming strategy to investors: how much it will spend on content, how much traditional licensing revenue will be lost by keeping more of its content in-house, and when it expects the bottom of that investment cycle to come before a return to growth. That’s a tall order.

“It’s going to be years until they start to recover their investment in streaming,” says Hal Vogel, veteran industry analyst. “They will be forgoing high profit margin revenues and moving into a very competitive arena with Netflix and Amazon and probably Apple. Investors are focused right now on the dream of seeing everybody move into streaming. But we need to know more about what the pain points are for these companies and how much they are willing to lose.”

More details about Disney’s investment to date in its Direct-to-Consumer operations will be forthcoming on Feb. 5, when the conglom reports its fiscal first quarter earnings. For the first time, the company will break out financials for the Direct-to-Consumer and International division. Disney earlier this month disclosed that the unit recorded a loss for the first nine months of 2018 of $738 million in operating income on revenue of $3.4 billion, most of which came from Disney’s international channels.

Disney is up to the huge challenges ahead, in the view of RBC Capital Markets senior media analyst Steven Cahall. He estimates the company will devote about $500 million to original programming for Disney Plus in 2019. “Disney spends more on content than anyone else globally. It has decades of experience in making excellent content, it has a huge balance sheet with low leverage and it’s a brand that’s known the world over,” Cahall wrote in December.

RBC research pegs Disney as the biggest spender among media giants on content, with a projected $23.8 billion for 2019, or $16.4 billion excluding sports-related properties. Disney’s total spending to fill its pipeline amounts to 22% of the estimated $107 billion in global content spending among the largest media companies. AT&T and Netflix are next on the list with $14.3 billion and $14 billion, respectively, per RBC.

Disney declined to comment for this story.

With so much on the line, insiders are increasingly scrutinizing the programming plans for Disney Plus as well as the team assembled to execute the service. There’s little doubt that the streaming venture will rise or fall largely on the popularity of its original content. In that context, questions have been raised in the creative community about the absence (so far) of deeply experienced programming executives at the top of Disney Plus.

Disney’s approach has come into sharp focus as its largest traditional competitors — NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia — in recent weeks have tapped veterans Bonnie Hammer and Kevin Reilly, respectively, to lead programming for streaming efforts that aren’t nearly as ambitious at the outset as those of Disney Plus.

Ricky Strauss, who spent the past six years as head of film marketing for Disney, was named president of content and marketing for Disney Plus in June. Agnes Chu was tapped to oversee content shortly after Disney disclosed its intent to launch the service in August 2017. She’s a senior VP who was a story and franchise development executive at Walt Disney Imagineering. She worked as VP in the office of the chairman-CEO and was a close aide to Iger from 2013-16. Before that, she spent three years as director of daytime and current programming at ABC, where she supervised “General Hospital” and primetime comedies “Malibu Country” and “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23.”

Leading the charge at the top is Mayer, with the Direct-to-Consumer and International division created last March to house Disney Plus and its eight-month-old counterpart ESPN Plus. Mayer had been head of corporate strategy and business development since 2005. He’s been Iger’s right hand on the studio acquisition spree — Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and most recently 21st Century Fox — that turbo-charged Disney into the world’s largest media company.

Strauss and Chu are each accomplished executives who are known to be well respected by their peers inside and outside Disney. They obviously have Iger’s vote of confidence. But there’s no disputing that neither has extensive experience in managing high-end TV series productions. Strauss served as head of production for Participant Media before Disney. Chu worked in documentary production before joining Disney in 2008 to develop digital content.

Iger has been weighing in on plans for big-ticket projects such as “The Mandalorian,” the first-ever live-action “Star Wars” series, which is sure to be a big selling point for Disney Plus. While Disney has bluntly stated that its streaming service will not try to match Netflix in terms of sheer volume of originals, sources say Iger has of late pushed the team to stoke the development pipeline to ensure a steady stream of fresh content can land on Disney Plus in the months after its launch.

At the same time, sources say Iger sees much of the creative spark for Disney Plus as coming from the creative teams behind the studio’s four content brands that will populate the service: Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar, as well as Fox’s main operating units, including FX, Fox Searchlight and National Geographic and its prestigious documentary vault.

A source close to the situation says there was a belief that executives from backgrounds other than traditional primetime TV might be better suited to building a new-paradigm programming operation. Chu’s team has been augmented in recent months with the hiring of Sarah Shepard, formerly of Smokehouse Pictures, as VP of scripted content and Marvel alum Dan Silver as VP of unscripted.

“We have the luxury of programming this product with programs from those brands or derived from those brands, which obviously creates a demand and gives us the ability to not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game,” Iger told Wall Street analysts in August.

Insiders say the thinking is that as a strictly VOD platform, the programming management needs of Disney Plus are different from that of a traditional network with a development and greenlighting hierarchy. And it has been emphasized that feeding strong content to Disney Plus is meant to be a holistic effort among all of the company’s content-producing units. Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar have long operated with a great deal of autonomy in plotting their film and TV projects, albeit with support from the Walt Disney Studios operation headed by Alan Horn and from network partners.

On the series side, as development began to ramp up last year, there was confusion about how Disney Plus would handle dealmaking and the always-contentious issue of profit participation points for talent. Disney ultimately settled on a formula for “buying out” points up front — much as Netflix, Amazon and HBO do — because there will be no aftermarket sales of the titles to split among participants. Sources describe the Disney Plus formulas and pay scales as generous for Marvel- and “Star Wars”-branded productions — “They’re spending real money on those shows,” says one top TV agent — but that other productions are offering less lucrative deals than comparable projects would likely command at Netflix or Amazon.

Others say the structure at Disney Plus has made it a little unwieldy to make deals for shows and also more difficult to pitch concepts and talent to the service. “Do you pitch Agnes? Do you pitch Jeph [Loeb, Marvel’s TV chief]? It’s not clear yet which door gets you in,” says another veteran agent.

Original movies are slated to be a big part of the Disney Plus lineup. At first, industry sources say the message from the Disney Plus team last year was that it was looking for modestly budgeted movie concepts. Then came word that it is open to projects with a wider budget range of $20 million to $60 million. Sean Bailey, president of motion picture production for Disney Studios, is playing a major role in liaising with the imprints and helping to steer the movies strategy. Other projects are coming from the seasoned team at Disney Channels Worldwide, which has long produced telepics.

Strategy adjustments and dealmaking hiccups are hardly unexpected for such an expansive start-up effort. Sources close to the situation point to the hiring earlier this month of Fox alum Joe Earley as exec VP of marketing and operations for Disney Plus as recognition that more heft was needed to prepare for the launch. Earley had a 21-year run at Fox Broadcasting, rising to chief operating officer for Fox Television Group. He spent the past three years as president of Gail Berman’s Jackal Group shepherding TV, film and legit productions. Earley will soon be joined under the larger Disney corporate umbrella by a host of former TV and film colleagues from 20th Century Fox.

Walt Disney Television chairman Rice and Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden, the Fox executives who will take on the top TV leadership roles at Disney (excluding ESPN), will be involved in feeding content to Disney Plus through their oversight of the combined ABC Studios and 20th Century Fox Television operations. Disney’s master plan for how Disney’s and Fox’s existing production units in film and TV will be integrated — or whether they will remain separate imprints — is still being sorted out.

“There are a lot of [Disney and Fox executives] out there still waiting to see where they’re going to go,” notes a TV industry vet.

Corporate integrations on the scale of Disney and 21st Century Fox are famously fraught with unexpected obstacles (think AOL-Time Warner). Political battles and turf wars are commonplace in any such melding of operations, particularly those with such distinctly different corporate cultures as Disney and Fox. The perception that Mayer and Rice are in a foot race to the CEO suite — rightly or wrongly, that’s the conventional wisdom in Hollywood — could add a wrinkle to the mandate for DTC/International and Walt Disney Television to work together in the enlarged Disney sandbox.

Executives in Burbank and Century City are bracing for a post-merger roller-coaster ride. The industry is waiting to see how Disney marshals its brand firepower for the streaming age. Disney’s board of directors no doubt has its eye on how the Disney Plus launch process plays out across the company as it evaluates successor options for Iger.

“It’s going to be Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride around here for a while,” says a longtime Disney insider.
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