Hollywood industry expert Matthew Belloni explains why Disney’s Fox acquisition has been good after all despite the latest negative reports.

Hollywood insider Matthew Belloni explains how Disneys Fox deal is still good. Recently, Disney’s acquisition of Fox, which was finalized in 2019, was reported to have been a bad deal for Disney. This previous report cited low returns thus far on the $71 billion investment, as well as Fox films’ low contribution to Disney’s overall revenue. It also stated that Disney was essentially scrapping Fox by pouring all their energy into blockbusters like the Planet of the Apes trilogy while ignoring all other Fox content.


Contrary to this Fox deal-slamming report, Belloni suggests in Puck that the Fox deal is still good for Disney. Belloni acknowledges that viewing the Fox deal as a failure is by and large the dominant viewpoint but goes on to dismantle multiple parts of this argument. Through a comparison to Disney and Netflix by looking at the challenge of the deal’s actual cost and ample discussion on the benefits, Belloni delivers a meticulously-formed argument in favor of the Disney-Fox deal.

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Belloni’s Disney-Fox Argument Explained

A Navi blowing on the couch in Avatar 2


The first aspect of Belloni’s argument about Disney’s Fox deal is a matter of reference points. One of the key elements of the anti-Fox perspective is that Disney is still in $45 billion debt from the $71 billion Fox deal. Belloni points out, however, that Disney’s growth since acquiring Fox is major compared with other platforms such as Netflix. Whereas Netflix took over a decade to reach 100 million subscribers (albeit launching in a time when streaming services were far less ubiquitous), Disney+ reached 100 million subscribers in just 16 months following its November 2019 launch. In Belloni’s eyes, it seems unlikely that Fox did not play a part in the franchise’s growth, even if Fox’s films did not make as much theater revenue in that year.

Belloni also challenges the actual dollar value cost of the Fox-Disney deal. Citing Comcast’s $15 billion payout to Disney over “ownership stake in the European broadcast service Sky” and Disney’s $10.6 billion-grossing arrangement to sort out ESPN, Belloni re-estimates the $71.3 billion deal to be at just $57 billion. This changes Disney’s debt to only $25 billion, which Belloni recognizes is still a lot of money, but it is less than previous reports cited.

Belloni highlighted the positive parts of Disney buying Fox that the naysayers consistently neglect. With the Fox acquisition, Belloni argues that Disney gained a stronghold in TV that it did not previously have. Furthermore, critics who diss the Disney decision specifically undervalue the power of Avatar: The Way of Water. Belloni mentions that the Avatar sequel “isn’t just a $2.2 billion-grossing movie” but rather a reinvigoration of a franchise that will “print money for a decade or more” for Disney through sequels, theme park events, and more. Belloni’s counterargument is just as if not more compelling as the popular anti-deal opinion.

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Source: Puck

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