Fox's War With Marvel Is Heating Up

Are executives at 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA  ) afraid audiences will forget about its Marvel properties? It sure looks like it, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

How so? Shortly after Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) and Marvel released a new trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Fox responded with six seconds of teaser footage of X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is due in May 2014. The studio has since released a full trailer.

There's a lot riding on Days of Future Past, Tim says. The seventh installment in Fox's series of X-films, Days bridges the events of the last team film -- the largely unsuccessful X-Men: First Class -- and this summer's The Wolverine, a lower-budget epic that earned a respectable $405.6 million worldwide. Days could put up similar numbers if word of mouth builds ahead of release. Strong buzz for Captain America, which releases a month earlier, could get in the way.

Should Fox investors temper expectations? Or will X-Men: Days of Future Past kick off a string of new mutant-themed Marvel films from the studio? Tim addresses these questions in the video. Please watch now, and then leave a comment to let us know what you think.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 9:08 PM, spinod wrote:

    They are not afraid people will forget, everyone knows they have licenses, they just don't want Fox to have them anymore lol

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 9:22 PM, CalvinballPro wrote:

    Fox needs to stop being insecure about it. They have X-Men. NO ONE is going to forget about the X-men movies. In fact, I'd argue that Fox has as-strong a franchise as Disney, if they manage it correctly. Their license covers X-Men and all the various other X-teams, the term "mutant" and all terms derived from it, and the comic history has just as much rich heritage to mine for classic storylines that all Fox really has to do is not mess it up. Like by getting petty and playing against Marvel when it should just be sticking to its own business.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 9:33 PM, Tical323 wrote:

    I have to correct you here Tim, First Class was no where near being classified as "largely unsuccessful" it earned $353.6 million worldwide along with an additional $25.5 million in DVD sales. As well as being the most critically acclaimed of all the movies. While it may not have earned as much as previous entries it still at least doubled the money it cost to make hence a sequel was made.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 10:35 PM, Widescreen25 wrote:

    Mr. Beyers, please check your facts. According to two different sites that track box office numbers (www.the-numbers.com and www.boxofficemojo.com), X-Men First Class actually made worldwide box office success to the tune of $355 million. Domestically, it came up short at $146 against a reported budget of $160 million, but consider that The Wolverine, according to the same sources, made only $132 million against a $120 million budget, and it's foreign numbers, just like First Class, were much larger. You want to write a story that matters with regards to Marvel, Fox, or any other entity in the film business? Try looking at how many of the last major blockbusters made 2-3 times more money in the foreign market than domestically. Consider how Marvel opened the first Thor film almost a month before it was released in the U.S. and made $200 million in the foreign market and managed to do the same in the U.S. X-Men First Class was not largely unsuccessful as you wrote. You might want to consider a qualifier in your future writing with regards to these. Domestically, many so-called blockbusters are barely breaking even and poised for foreign success.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 11:20 PM, JimHard444 wrote:

    Widescreen25:

    You are wrong. I work in the industry.

    Domestic is where studios make their money back.

    25 million budget plus promotions and such need 35 million domestic to break even.

    Internation yields mostly go to foreign distributors. They pay for promotions, theatres, and other expenses (even salaries), but the studios DO not get much of that 200 million if that's what you read into. They get maybe less than 10% of that.

    So in order for a movie to be "successful" box office wise, it must make it's budget back plus 25% via Domestic box office sales. International don't count. That goes to Robert Downey Jr's or Julia Robert's pockets or distributors.

    Why distributors? Well, Paramount or any studio do not want to spend more distributing movies around the world. That in itself has problems and costs not many can imagine.

  • Report this Comment On October 31, 2013, at 12:28 AM, VICTORY wrote:

    If Fox sees this as a fight, I have bad news for them. They are going to get trounced again. The X-M:DOFP teaser got nowhere near the oohs and ahhhs the "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" trailer got. Maybe because it doesn't look at all like the comic.

    I think Fox knows that regular people only see the Marvel logo and don't know that the mutants are separate from the REAL Marvel Cinematic Universe. So they are just trying to tie them with the Marvel Studios brand and piggyback their way to the bank. It'll be interesting to see if they do better when they show the Sentinels on Super Bowl sunday, or if Marvel's Captain America and The Falcon (or Guardians Of The Galaxy) will still come out on top.

  • Report this Comment On October 31, 2013, at 2:52 AM, Darkvoltinx wrote:

    i wish Disney just buy back all rights to all the marvel stuff. its really starting to get annoying.

  • Report this Comment On October 31, 2013, at 4:11 AM, SeniorMoment wrote:

    At some point in time, the Super hero bubble is going to burst. With CGI overtaking the need for characterisation many of these films are strangely uninvolving.

  • Report this Comment On October 31, 2013, at 8:49 AM, Pest wrote:

    OK, am I the only one that thinks Fox's problem is that they HAVE mismanaged the X-men films? Their continuity is non-existant, they introduced way to many characters and dn't seem to have any vision as to where they are trying to take the franchise. I am a huge X-men fan and I have enjoyed the movies but none of them have been great because of what seems to be a lack of vision.

    In all reality "First Class" was the best of them and if it was an attempt at a reboot it would have gone well but they did not use it as a reboot and are now tying it into/dragging it down with the mistakes they have amde in the other movies.

  • Report this Comment On October 31, 2013, at 9:18 AM, AcuraT wrote:

    I think Fox has a bigger problem that this new X-Men film does not even address - the over population of movies. Paramount is pushing DC comics (with mixed success). Fox is pushing it one Marvel franichse - X-Men. Disney is pushing the rest of the Marvel universe.

    That is a lot of comic book based movies. If all three players floods the market with movies, I cannot imagine it is good for any of them as far as revenue will go. They will just canabalize each others sales to a degree. There are only so many "fan boys: who will go see all the films multiple times.

  • Report this Comment On October 31, 2013, at 1:48 PM, Pest wrote:

    Victory, just to clear things up there is only one Marvel Universe, the X-Men and all the other hero's are in it. Unfortuantely because two different studios own the rights there are two "movie universes" for Marvel characters. Fox has put a hodge podge ofsories together with no comon thread and is now trying to patch it back together, Disney created a master framework and fit all of its movies together perfectly, that is the biggest difference.

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