It's the biggest deal in entertainment history, but what will the Disney takeover of Twenty-First Century Fox mean for consumers, particularly those of us in Australia?
While it will be some time before the deal is approved, and a lot longer for its full ramifications to become clear, let's have a little gaze into the crystal ball to see what the future might look like.
The easy answer is more Marvel movies. Or perhaps that should be more complete Marvel movies.
The deal brings The X-Men franchise and its Wolverine spin-offs, plus Fantastic Four and Deadpool - all Marvel Comics properties to which Fox had the film rights - under the roof of Marvel Entertainment, which Disney owns.
That only leaves Spider-Man with one web-covered limb still outside the tent, and he's practically back inside anyway, thanks to the odd deal under which Sony leased the property back to Marvel for this year's Spider-Man: Homecoming. Tom Holland's Spidey had a brief cameo in Captain America: Civil War in 2015 and is a fully fledged member of The Avengers for next year's Infinity Wars.
Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Spidey is the last of Marvel's major characters not within the Disney camp. Photo: Chuck Zlotnick
All of which may well leave grown-ups scratching their heads and shrugging "who cares", but in the world of geekdom, such things matter. And when geekdom is responsible for so much box-office income - Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Logan and Justice League are all among the top-10 films of 2017 - they matter rather a lot.
Avatar for ever. And ever
The deal also means Disney will soon own James Cameron's Avatar franchise, which will produce at the very least four more movies over the next eight years. That doesn't just mean Disney gets access to the sequels to the highest-grossing movie of all time ($US2.79 billion worldwide). It also gets the perfect companion to its $US500 million theme park attraction Pandora, based on the world of the first movie but set a century after the events of the final sequel (which is not due out until 2025). Given that theme parks make way more money for the company than its cinematic offerings - $US16.97 billion in 2016 versus $US3.67 billion - that makes enormous sense.
The Pandora attraction at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Photo: Steven Diaz
Fewer studios means fewer movies. Probably
With the number of Hollywood's major studios shrinking from six to five, the deal almost certainly means fewer movies overall. Disney has released just seven movies in 2017, including the just-out Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fox will finish the year with 12 releases in America, plus another 17 under its adult-oriented banner Fox Searchlight (hot Oscar tips The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, both out in Australian in January, are among them).
Fox itself will almost certainly disappear as a brand: unlike Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel, it does not signify a particular kind of movie.
Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The film is considered an Oscar contender, but will Disney have an appetite for this kind of thing? Photo: AP
What about the grown-ups?
Searchlight might survive though: while Disney has had little appetite for grown-up movies since 2010, when it sold Miramax, the company it bought from founders Bob and the now-disgraced Harvey Weinstein in 1993, it might rediscover an appetite for such fare under the Searchlight brand.
If it does, that will almost certainly be because it needs a range of content other than superhero and fantasy blockbusters. Not for the cinema, mind.
Dreaming of streaming
Disney has serious ambitions to go head to head with Netflix in the SVOD (subscription video on demand) space, and a broad offering is crucial for that.
Disney is already a player in streaming, via its 30 per cent stake in Hulu, which made The Handmaid's Tale. Soon it will also own Fox's 30 per cent as well (telco Comcast owns another 30, with Warner owning the final 10 per cent).
It currently has a distribution deal with Netflix, but that is unlikely to be renewed. Disney has already announced its intention to launch its own SVOD service by 2019 (whether a Disney-branded offering or a fully owned and repurposed Hulu remains to be seen).
In many respects, SVOD is the main game. Cinema attendances are declining. Broadcast television revenues are challenged (Disney owns the ABC network in America). Cable services are under threat (Disney owns 80 per cent of ESPN, and the deal will bring National Geographic and FX under its control too). Paid streaming services, by contrast, are growing.
On the flipside of the deal, the new Fox will likely focus on news, sport and reality programming. Scripted drama and comedy will have little place in its future.
Disney has a 30 per cent stake of streaming service Hulu, which brought us The Handmaid's Tale. It will soon own 60 per cent.
What about us?
In Australia, this realignment is likely to have its most significant impact in the pay TV and SVOD space. Disney will funnel its fresh content to its own SVOD service rather than to Foxtel (though it may see value in retaining a presence on cable for the back catalogue).
Fox's TV programming, untethered from its long-standing distribution deal with Ten (which is now owned by the American TV network CBS, and has SVOD ambitions of its own), will likely flow through to Foxtel.
Netflix will no longer have access to Disney's programming, or to Fox's. The back catalogues of both - amounting to many thousands of movies and TV series - will likewise end up on Disney's service. It's amazing what you can buy with a mere $US52.4 billion these days.
The bottom line
There are plenty of unknowns yet, chief among them whether or not the deal will be approved by federal authorities in the US. But the lesson is clear: traditional media companies are having to think outside the box in response to the digital disrupters.
When companies the size of Fox and Disney feel threatened enough to take such a massive step as this, you know everyone else must be thinking the same thing.
Adapt or die.