20th Century Fox

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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 News Corp. 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; the one pictured is the 1994 version).

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 [1939]). Fox Studios also capitalized on its association with Shirley Temple after the mid-1930s — singlehandedly, she made over $20 million for Fox in the late 1930s. The studio was distinguished by its glossy production values and sharp-focused, high-contrast cinematography.

In the 1950s, alongside more standard dramatic fare, it 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. Though this seemed to work for a while — the marathon musical The Sound of Music was the studio's most profitable film until the advent of Star Wars — it backfired spectacularly when the studio attempted to duplicate its earlier 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. The result was that several top studio executives 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 was 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.

The studio became notorious for making established franchises into movies and rewriting/ruining them. They're also 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 15 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 reshoot several scenes for Hitman, again without telling the director. Or...

In 2019, a landmark deal by Disney was made in which they would buy the studio and many of 21st Century Fox's assets. The acquisition cost $71.3 billion and made Disney the largest studio in the world.

Films Produced (Incomplete list)[edit | hide | hide all]