If you saw the movie Thor: Ragnarok recently, you weren't alone. The film has already grossed over two-thirds of a billion dollars worldwide. Not bad for a relatively minor character in the Marvel Comics universe.
When it comes to the superhero genre, the ultimate force behind Thor, Disney (DIS) , can work its magic like no other studio. Consider the successful Guardians of the Galaxy films; Thor: Ragnarok uses the same formula of action and humor found in that series, and the results are self-evident.
Disney was in the news recently for its attempted takeover of Fox's (FOXA) film studios. Among other things, the deal would've given Disney the rights to valuable properties for use in its proposed streaming service.
Try to imagine a streaming service that offers the entire Star Wars saga, plus the Marvel Comics universe, including related characters like the popular Deadpool. Now throw in the X-Men series; just imagine what Disney might do with that. Add old and new Disney classics, like Snow White and Frozen. For good measure, add Fox television shows like The Simpsons.
Now imagine all of this is available exclusively on Disney's streaming service, and you can understand why a potential deal with Fox is so attractive to Disney.
From a competitor's standpoint, this deal could be devastating. The company with the most to lose is Netflix (NFLX) ; Disney is already in the process of pulling its programming from Netflix, well in advance of the introduction of its own streaming service. Netflix is spending heavily to create what it hopes will be a Disney-proof niche of original content, with successful series like House of Cards.
However, Netflix is far from the only name to be jeopardized by a Disney/Fox combination. Apple (AAPL) , Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOGL) are among the potential players in video streaming. While it's doubtful that any of them could squeeze the same value from the Fox properties as Disney, they can't afford to stand by and allow Disney to dominate the space.
As for the stock, Fox is trading as if something is afoot. The stock is still climbing despite the fact that talks with Disney had already ended before the story became public knowledge. Fox is breaking out of a sloppy bull flag pattern (diagonal lines), which projects the stock to about $31. Yesterday, the stock closed at its highest level since Aug. 1.
The chart seems to suggest that someone -- perhaps Disney, perhaps another competitor -- will eventually buy the Fox studios, rights and properties. Fox is interested in selling, Disney is interested in buying, and Disney's competitors can't allow that deal to happen.
This commentary originally appeared on Real Money Pro at 07:00 on Nov. 17. Click here to learn about this dynamic market information service for active traders.