January 17, 2020
The Walt Disney Company will drop the “Fox” name from some of the assets it acquired in its $71.3 billion buyout of 21st Century Fox studio from the Murdoch family last March, according to reports.
As such, the 20th Century Fox film studio will now be known as 20th Century Studios, while the studio’s indie arm, Fox Searchlight Pictures, is now just Searchlight Pictures. Logos for the newly named subsidiaries have been similarly updated without the “Fox” name.
The name change has apparently not yet extended to Disney-owned production units 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios, though a potential name change could be coming on that front as well, according to Variety.
Also unknown is how the rebranding will affect the name of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Inquiries to the studio have not yet been answered.
The primary reason for the re-branding is to distinguish the new Disney-owned properties from assets such as the Fox broadcast network and Fox News Channel that were not included with the sale and are still controlled by the Murdoch family under the Fox Corp. banner.
Disney has already started phasing out “Fox” from company email addresses and is using the Fox-less branding for upcoming projects such as the films Downhill and Call of the Wild.
Interestingly, the history of the 20th Century Fox studio began with the merger of two independent studios in 1935: Twentieth Century Pictures, founded in 1933, and Fox Film Corporation, founded in 1915. Rupert Murdoch bought 20th Century-Fox in the 1980s and dropped the hyphen from the name. Fox Searchlight was created in 1994.
Iconic 20th Century Fox studio elements such as the spotlight logo and the musical fanfare date back to the Twentieth Century Pictures days, and will be retained by Disney.