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Text Text Avatar, X-Men, and More: 5 Key 21-First Century Fox Franchises for the Next Decade
Avatar Avatar is the most successful movie in box office history, with a global gross of roughly $2.79 billion Director James Cameron is readying three sequels to the 2009 blockbuster, with the first set to debut in 2017.
Avatar Avatar 2 has a projected production budget of $250 million, and it’s been estimated that the budget for the three sequels could total $1 billion. Fox and James Cameron have partnered with Disney to bring the world of Pandora to Disney parks
The X-Men film universe Fox is counting on the success of an expanded universe for its X-Men films to buoy its film division. The property is even more crucial for Fox following the disappointment of this summer’s Fantastic Four. 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past was a big win, grossing roughly $750 million globally and garnering strong critical and audience reaction—potentially setting the franchise up for growth.
The X-Men film universe X-Men spinoff and R-rated action-comedy Deadpool will debut February 2016, followed by X-Men: Apocalypse in May, Gambit in October, a Wolverine sequel set for a March 2017 release, and The New Mutants in 2018. The X-Men license grants Fox access to a wide range of compelling characters and stories, and presents the opportunity to build a connected franchise reminiscent of what Disney has accomplished with the films in the Avengers universe
Planet of the Apes 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes grossed nearly $710 million globally—representing impressive growth over the roughly $480 million gross of Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011 Both movies in the new Apes series have done well with critics and audiences. The first film has an 82% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes, while the second film garnered 90% critical approval.
Planet of the Apes The series’ next installment, War of the Planet of the Apes, is set to release July 2017. The year will be a big one for Fox’s film division, with entries in the Apes, Avatar, and X-Men, and other series set to debut
The Maze Runner Fox’s Maze Runner movie franchise is adapted from a five-book series. Provided that box office returns are strong enough, the company likely aims to deliver at least one film for each book in the series.
The Maze Runner Released in 2014, The Maze Runner went on to gross more than $340 million on just a $34 million production budget The performance of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials should give an indication of the franchise’s growth prospects
Ice Age Ice Age is one of Fox’s most successful film franchises, grossing more than $2.8 billion across 4 series entries The last film in the series, 2012’s Ice Age: Continental Drift, grossed nearly $880 million—just short of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur’s nearly $890 million gross in 2009
Ice Age Ice Age: Collision Course is due for release in July 2016, with further installments likely to follow. The franchise is also set to play a big role at Fox’s theme parks, the first of which will open in Malaysia in 2016, followed by a South Korea park in 2018.
How strong is Fox’s film lineup? Fox’s film lineup probably isn’t as strong as what rivals Time Warner and Disney are working on, but there are still standout opportunities in production at the company. In addition to the five franchises detailed in this presentation, Fox is also readying an Independence Day sequel for next summer, and the sci-fi action picture could ride the same nostalgia wave that helped propel Comcast’s Jurassic World to incredible performance. The company is also readying a sequel to its prehistoric cartoon comedy, The Croods, for 2017. All in all, Avatar and X-Men look to be the company’s most crucial franchises for the next decade. The Avatar series may never again reach the box office heights of the original, thanks to not having the newness of 3D technology to drive sales, but it will likely wind up as the movie series with the highest average gross per entry. On the superhero front, Fox has a huge opportunity in building a connected universe, but its commercial and critical track record has been spotty, so the upcoming X-Men films are a crucial x-factor. With some big changes afoot across the entertainment landscape, Fox has stated that it views the best path to success as creating and distributing its own content, so the performance of its big franchises can be expected to have a sizable impact on the overall direction of the company.
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