Disney and Comcast are in a high-stakes showdown for control of Fox. Beyond Fox’s cable channels and its vast film and TV library of old movies and TV shows, the winner gets control of Fox’s valuable movie franchises, such as X-Men. And that could help determine whether Comcast’s Universal can catch up to Disney’s share of Hollywood movie ticket sales.
Movies based on well-known characters from books, comics, TV shows or earlier films—such as Harry Potter, X-Men or Avengers—have taken on a hugely important role in Hollywood in recent years. They made up just 2.7% of the films released since 2000, but generated a whopping one-third of U.S. box office revenues, according to data from Box Office Mojo.