With a $71.3 billion merger between Disney and Fox expected to close in the coming weeks, all eyes are on the combined powerhouse studio and what that might mean for Oscar. If tonight is any kind of precursor, expect dominance: Disney and Fox together garnered 11 Oscar wins at this evening’s 91st Academy Awards.
Black Panther scored three Oscar wins for Disney, but Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody won the most of any film with four Oscars, including for Best Actor for Rami Malek. Add in the surprise win for Olivia Colman for Fox Searchlight’s The Favourite, FSL’s recent acquisition of Skin (which won Best Live-Action Short) and Nat Geo’s Free Solo (Best Feature Documentary), the count is up to 11.
In fact, a happy Disney CEO Robert Iger was touting the Disney/Fox wins at the Governors Ball afterparty and noted to Disney-owned network ABC that he “would have loved for Black Panther to win Best Picture … but it got a lot of love.” Black Panther won for Costume Design, Production Design and Original Score.
Nat Geo, which won its first ever Oscar tonight, is expected to operate independently inside Disney.
Because of its Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Disney brands, the studio already set a new industry domestic box office record of $3 billion for 2018, while Fox grabbed $1.23 billion and a Disney/Fox combined worldwide box office is $10.2 billion worldwide.
Looking at its combined slate, Disney/Fox accounts for well over 20 films that will be distributed this year. So, clearly, the merger increases studio’s odds to win more awards next year … if, of course, the quality of the films holds.