Creator: 20th Century Fox
"The making and legal distribution of this film supported over 14,000 American jobs and involved over 600,000 work hours."
One of the big six movie studios, formed in 1935 after a merger of William Fox's Fox Film Corp. and Daryl Zanuck's 20th Century Pictures, Inc. Currently owned by 21st Century Fox
and run by honcho Chase Carey.
Well known for its Fanfare
composed by Alfred Newman
, which has essentially become the unofficial Theme Tune
of the motion picture industry. And, of course, its logo
—inherited from 20th Century Pictures—the studio's name as a giant structure surrounded by searchlights (most recently revised in 2009, as of Avatar
In its day, Fox was considered one of the most prestigious of the Hollywood studios, known for its musicals (especially in the 1940s with Betty Grable), and prestige biographies (such as John Ford
's Young Mr. Lincoln
). Fox also capitalized on its association with Shirley Temple
, who single-handedly made over $20 million for the studio in the late 1930s. The studio was distinguished by its glossy production values and sharp-focused, high-contrast cinematography.
In the 1950s, alongside its more standard dramatic fare, Fox produced a series of Rodgers and Hammerstein
musicals and well-regarded biblical epics, hoping to stave off the threat of television by the sheer size of its productions. Unfortunately, this strategy proved wildly inconsistent in results, the grotesquely overpriced Cleopatra
would have nearly bankrupted the studio if the marathon musical The Sound of Music
hadn't become the studio's most profitable film until the advent of Star Wars
. Furthermore, the strategy then backfired spectacularly when the studio attempted to duplicate that success by producing three expensive, large-scale musicals over a period of three years: Doctor Dolittle
(1968) and Hello, Dolly!!
(1969). All were released amid massive pre-release publicity and all lost equally massive amounts of money for the studio that could have sunk the studio again if it weren't for the spectacular success of the hit SF series, Planet of the Apes
, starting in 1968 to keep it afloat. The result was that several top studio executives, including the company founder's son, Richard Zanuck, lost their jobs, and the studio itself went into such dire financial straits that it produced only one picture for the entire calendar year of 1970. Eventually by 1977, there were moves to have the studio sold off and perhaps dismantled, but that was the year a little, seemingly absurd, film called Star Wars
exploded into popular culture. 20th Century Fox was the first major studio to embrace the then-new medium of home video through a deal with Magnetic Video
, which Fox would subsequently fully acquire as a subsidiary; its Hello Dolly!
was the first film released on home video in the U.S.
As of late, unfortunately, the studio has also become notorious for making established franchises into movies and rewriting/ruining them
. They've also become hated among movie buffs for what they perceive to be monumental levels of Executive Meddling
and a focus on profit over creativity, with Fox studio executives having more control over a film's production than the director does. Witness, for example, how the sets of X-Men Origins: Wolverine
were repainted without the director's permission or even knowledge. Or their utter mangling of Babylon A.D.
, which saw over fifteen minutes
being cut out in the editing room, leaving behind such an incomprehensible mess that its director disowned it. Or how they brought in the editor to re-shoot several scenes for Hitman
, again without telling the director. Or...
Films Produced (Incomplete list; includes Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Shows Produced (as 20th Century Fox Television, incomplete list)