So Disney have fired the head of Fox Home Entertainment, likely indicating my worst fear that Disney’s Home Entertainment division will swallow them up rather than allowing them to continue with some level of independence.
Reasons this could be very BAD:
1) Fox have historically been very nurturing of their catalogue, with good restorations, releases and re-releases since the DVD era. Not Something that can be said of Disney outside of their animation/Lucas and Marvel properties these days.
Fox Home Ent were also pretty liberal about licencing catalogue titles to boutique labels like Criterion and Eureka. Disney have thrown some scraps, and I do mean scraps, from the Touchstone/Buena Vista catalogues to Kino in the last couple of years, but little else. We know how they also limit Walt Disney branded catalogue titles (Herbie, Return to Oz, Cool Runnings Honey I Shrunk the Kids...and many others) to their damn US only movie club.
2) Fox were hardly enthusiastic about rushing out catalogue content on UHD disc, but it’s probably fair to say that last year’s anniversary disc of Die Hard and next month’s anniversary disc of Alien would stand less chance of release under Disney Home Ent. Both discs also feature audio commentaries and optional original audio mixes on the 4k discs, something Disney give zero fucks about on their own releases. Chances of The Abyss getting a UHD may have taken a big hit.
3) There’s every possibility that we may now cease to see Fox content in 4k/HDR on iTunes, and equally a chance that the titles already on the service in 4k may get downgraded to HD later in the year.