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Creator / 20th Century Fox

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The making and authorized distribution of this film supported over 14,000 American jobs and involved over 600,000 work hours.

The famous Hollywood studio, formed in 1935 after a merger of William Fox's Fox Film Corp. and Darryl F. Zanuck's 20th Century Pictures, Inc. It was one of the major Hollywood movie studios, existing in this capacity from its inception until March 20, 2019, when it was sold to Disney and effectively ceased to exist, its acquired assets now overseen by Emma Watts. Although its corporate offices are officially housed at Disney's Burbank headquarters, Fox continues to lease studio space from its former Century City backlot.

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 (last 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 Bio Pics (such as John Ford's 1939 film 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 addition, under long-time founding executive Zanuck, the studio became known for making some of the most important and controversial films in Hollywood, with films that addressed sensitive issues such as antisemitism (the Academy Award winning Gentleman's Agreement), poverty (fellow Academy Award winner The Grapes of Wrath), unfair unionization and environmental destruction (a third Academy Award winner, How Green Was My Valley), and institutionalized mistreatment of the mentally ill (The Snake Pit, which caused 13 states to change their laws when it came out).


In the 1950s, alongside its more standard dramatic fare, Fox produced a series of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, comedies with squeaky-clean teen idols, 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 (1967), Star! (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.

When Tom Rothman was running the studio, it became 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.

On December 14, 2017, in one of the biggest media shake-ups in decades, Disney announced its intention to acquire a large majority of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets, including 20th Century Fox and its subsidiaries and divisions (including 20th Century Fox Television), in a cash-and-stock deal worth over $71.3 billionnote , the largest acquisition ever in Disney's history.note  The remnants of the company will continue to occupy their Century City studios for at least seven years after the deal is completed, after which they are most likely to move to the Disney lot in Burbank, which some speculate could be renovated as a result of the deal. Disney has stated that the 20th Century Fox brand will continue to live on as one of Disney Studios' core film brands, focusing primarily on adult-oriented fare or material unsuitable for Disney's other studio brands, displacing the inactive Touchstone Pictures label in the process.

After about a year-and-a-half of regulatory approvals, Disney formally seized control of the studio on March 20, 2019, ending Fox's eight decades-long history as one of the major Hollywood studios and reducing the number of major film studios from six to five, a number that had not been seen since The Golden Age of Hollywood. You may still see the Fox fanfare and logo at the beginning of their movies and at the end of their TV shows, but that's only for marketing purposes because as part of the merger agreement, 21st Century Fox's legal successor Fox Corporation, which retained control of all the Fox trademarks save FX, granted Disney an exclusive licensing agreement to continue using the 20th Century Fox name in perpetuity, essentially making the former studio a Disney production shingle similar to Marvel Studios (which as a result of the purchase got all of the characters Fox had the rights to such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four) and Lucasfilm (even after Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, Fox maintained the distribution rights to the original trilogy and prequel trilogy films, while owning Episode 4: A New Hope outright.) Fox's production, distribution, and marketing operations were all taken over by Walt Disney Studios, and the studio no longer has any connection to Murdoch's other media properties, including the Fox network and Fox News Channel. Disney-ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution now handles all off-network reruns and streaming rights, while Buena Vista International now holds global rights to the catalog. 20th Century Fox Television is now a sister TV studio with ABC Studios (formerly Touchstone Television) as part of the Disney Television Studios group.

From 2013 to 2017, it was the distributor of DreamWorks Animation films and shows, beginning with The Croods, after DWA's previous deal with Paramount expired after Rise of the Guardians. Even after NBCUniversal purchased the studio in 2016, Fox continued releasing DreamWorks Animation films until their contract ended with the release of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.

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    Films produced and/or distributed (incomplete list; includes Fox Searchlight Pictures releases) 

    Shows Produced (as 20th Century Fox Television, incomplete list) 
  • 20th Television (the distribution arm) owned the libraries of the following defunct companies:
    • Four Star Television, with the following exceptions:
      • The Rifleman, which is owned by original co-producer Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions.
      • Trackdown, which is owned by original co-producer CBS­.
      • Wanted: Dead or Alive and The Big Valley, which are owned by Studio Canal.
      • PDQ, which is owned by MGM Television via their inheritance of co-producer Heatter-Quigley's library.


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