The Disney and Fox merger has created uncertainty over a planned theme park in Malaysia based on Fox movie franchises like Ice Age, Independence Day and Planet of the Apes, Variety reported.
Casino-and-resort developer Genting Malaysia has filed a billion-dollar lawsuit in a Los Angeles court accusing Fox of backing out of the deal, Variety said. Genting, which has licensed the brand and content from Fox, already has spent $750 million on the theme park, known as 20th Century Fox World, the publication said.
The theme park was announced in 2013 and scheduled to open in 2016, but delays have pushed the opening to sometime in first half of 2019 at the earliest, Variety reported. Genting said Disney is using the delays as an excuse to cancel the deal, Variety said. Genting also believes Disney isn’t pleased with its theme park opening next door to a casino, the publication said.
Disney’s theme parks are one of its biggest profit engines, earning around $5 billion, or more than twice the revenue it made from its movie studio last year. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Disney wants to tightly control Fox’s entertainment properties moving forward and reserve them for use in its own theme parks, almost all of which it fully controls.