Disney Drops Fox From Searchlight, 20th Century Studios Monikers

The assimilation of the iconic 20th Century Fox Studios by Disney continues.

Nearly a year after the ink finally dried on their acquisition of 20th Century Fox Studios, Disney is giving the studio and its subsidiary Fox Searchlight Pictures, a bit of a rebranding by dropping the word “Fox” out of each of their names. They will now be known as 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures.

No word yet as to what name changes may be in store for 20 Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios, also acquired in the merger.

Twentieth Century Fox was formed in 1935, the result of a merger between Fox Film Corporation and Twentieth Century Pictures. So from a long historical lens, Twentieth Century Studios does feel a bit retro and in keeping with the studio’s long and storied history. The big problem though, is that naming your studio with last century’s name does not really project a forward looking posture as we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century.

Even though they did have the right to keep using the word, it is understandable that Disney wanted to eventually lose the name Fox off of both entities. Although the studio bought Twentieth Century Fox from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox’s media conglomerate, the mogul hung onto the over the air Fox Broadcasting Company and the various Fox branded cable outlets, putting them under the umbrella of the Fox Corporation. Removing Fox from the Disney properties helps to distinguish their current status apart from their past affiliations.

The change will be apparent in new releases going forward, though the studio will be retaining their iconic Alfred Newman-penned studio fanfare.

It remains to be seen if Disney/20th Century will alter their older films and add title cards with the updated dated name or leave them as they historically have appeared.

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About Rich Drees 7174 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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