Pour one out for Fox because Disney is wiping that production and development slate damn-near clean, according to studio chief Bob Iger. During a recent investors call, Iger revealed that Disney suffered a $170 million operating loss in its third quarter, and although that’ll hardly make a dent in the mega-corp’s coffers, the studio is treating it like a robbery. The culprit, according to Variety, is Dark Phoenix, the final nail in the coffin of the X-Men franchise. Unfortunately, it seems no one had the gumption to shout “YOU BOUGHT IT” at Iger during the quarterly earnings call. Like, what did this guy expect when he bought a mediocre-at-best franchise sullied by the legacy of a filmmaker with a history of sexual assault and misconduct allegations involving young and sometimes underage men? A profit pińata?
But Disney needs someone to blame for that $170 million operating loss, and Dark Phoenix is an easy mark. Iger also cites Fox’s marketing budget for upcoming films like Ford V. Ferrari, a likely awards season contender and one of a few acquisitions that won’t bring further shame on the House Of Mouse. “One of the biggest issues was the Fox studio performance which was well below where it had been and well below where we hoped it would be when we made the acquisition,” said Iger, implying that the people at Fox should’ve gotten their shit together despite inevitable post-acquisition layoffs.
It’s not all bad (or “bad”) news for Disney, as Iger confirmed Kevin Feige is indeed inheriting the Marvel superhero titles from Fox, including the Fantastic Four and X-Men. And the folks at Disney raided the Fox vault for valuables, like Home Alone, Night At The Museum, and Diary Of A Wimpy Kid—all of which will be rebooted for Disney+. Franchises like Avatar (as previously reported) and Planet Of The Apes will continue on, but the future of many other Fox titles is unknown as Iger plans to streamline and “refocus” the studio’s output. Given Disney’s aversion to R-rated and adult titles, none of this is exactly great news for certain properties, like the Alien franchise.