Disney Set to Add Fox Films to the “Disney Vault.” With the acquisition of Fox, many fans were curious as to how Disney would handle the Fox Films, and it appears Disney is adding the films to the notorious “Disney Vault.”
According to a report by Vulture, Disney has been silently adding the Fox Films to the vault and pulling showings of Fox Classics such as Alien, Aliens, Say Anything, The Princess Bride, and Moulin Rouge at small independent theatres that normally showcase the older classics to break up the content offering in said theatres.
In the report, Vulture shared a story about an independent theatre who was blindsided by the change in policy, “The Little Theater in Rochester booked Fox’s Fight Club for August and was told by a Disney spokesperson mere days before the scheduled screening that a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) of the movie would no longer be shipped; then a Disney representative called the theater to apologize for the misunderstanding, and assured management that the film was still on its way; the reversal happened a day after a Los Angeles Times reporter called Disney asking them to clarify their repertory policies.”
Mergers between entertainment companies can be grueling. Unfortunate side effects can include layoffs, cancelled films and projects, and change in policy and distribution, all of which have been a part of the Disney-Fox merger.
Ultimately, this could be a win for Disney fans who may get to see these titles come to Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+ sometime in the future, but is a loss for the small theatre community who enjoyed viewing the fox films such as A Princess Bride, Miracle on 34th Street, Fight Club, and Deadpool during special screenings.
Many film programmers have expressed their distaste for the drastic changes, opting to remain anonymous so as to prevent potential backlash from Disney for their comments:
“A lot of these movies are what you’d call ‘steady earners’ for theaters. You show them, and people turn up.”
“Disney has the opportunity not to be the bad guy, to act in the public interest and prove that them owning something is not a bad thing.”
“It may not seem like a big deal, losing access to movies that might only make the theater $600 or $1,000 once you deduct the costs attached to booking them. But over the course of a year, it all adds up. A lot of these movies are what you’d call ‘steady earners’ for theaters. You show them, and people turn up.”
Disney has not commented on the policy implementation, but did say, “Screenings of vintage Fox films would still be allowed at nonprofit theaters such as Film Forum in New York and Segundo’s Old Town Music Hall, and in some other venues, including outdoor screenings in public spaces and at museums and cultural institutions (particularly ones dedicated to cinema, such as the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York, and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago). And there might be some exemptions granted for special occasions such as anniversaries. But each instance would be considered on a case-by-case basis, with no guarantee that the decision will go the theater’s way, no matter what Fox films it had been able to wrangle a week, a month, or a year earlier.”
The report also shared that Rocky Horror Picture Show showings have not been tarnished with the new policies and Disney does not plan on altering the presentations or special events for the cult classic. According to Rachel Fox, “maybe Disney knows that if they pull Rocky Horror too, there’ll be a full-scale audience revolt.”
What do you think of Disney’s decision to pull Fox Films from theaters and putting them in the Disney Vault? Would you like to see these titles move to Disney+? Do you think Disney should revisit the handling of these classic titles? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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Photo Credit: Fox Studios/Walt Disney Pictures