Impending Disney and Fox media union set to reunite Marvel superhero universe

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Associated Press

The coming union of the Disney and Fox media empires is set to create a new nirvana for fanboys and -girls, one that reunites superheroes and sci-fi characters long separated by an energy barrier of corporate legalism.

Take, for instance, the fractured world of Marvel superheroes. For years, the X-Men (Wolverine, Storm, Professor X and the crew) and the Fantastic Four (Thing, Invisible Woman, et al) have battled bad dudes from the studios of 20th Century Fox.

Meanwhile Iron Man, Black Widow and other Avengers vanquished villains in another corner of the galaxy run by Disney.

Almost ne'er the twain did meet - though that could soon change.

In a related fashion, rights to the various "Star Wars" films have been scattered all over a galaxy far, far away; those will soon be unified under a powerful Galactic Emp-- er, well, Magic Kingdom.

Disney's announcement Friday that it's buying most of movie goliath Fox for $52.4 billion in stock brings these once disparate franchises together, possibly for as-yet unplanned intergalactic dust-ups.

Add the "Avatar" franchise to the blockbuster mix, and the company that launched Mickey Mouse will be an unavoidable presence at the box office and online if the deal goes through.

The combined company will account for more than a third of theatrical revenues in the U.S. and Canada, an $11 billion business last year, not to mention a huge chunk of the global theater-going pie, according to Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer at market research firm GBH Insights.

That would make the Disney juggernaut a more powerful theatrical force to be reckoned with than ever before.

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