Fox Removed From 20th Century & Searchlight Logos As Disney Updates Labels

Anthony D'Alessandro

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A month ago when Fox Searchlight emails had dropped the Fox, there was a sense that the full integration of the former Rupert Murdoch-owned studio was in full effect at Disney. Well, it’s official today: in the wake of the 20th Century Fox film division updating their emails last night to @20thCenturyStudios, both labels are dropping Fox from their logos. Going forward, you’ll see the Searchlight Pictures logo on their specialty fare, and 20th Century Studios on the big, wide release titles.

Now, from what I understand, legally Disney can still use Fox if they want to in logos, however, the reason for dropping the big name is to avoid confusion with the consumer, especially as the Murdochs keep the Fox name in regards to their big broadcast network and cable and business news cable networks.

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There has been no name change yet for the Fox-branded production entities acquired by Disney, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios, but one is coming, sources said. Both units are now part of Disney Television Studios, along with ABC Studios/ABC Signature. All of Disney and Fox’s TV operations except ESPN fall under Walt Disney Television, led by Peter Rice.

The new Searchlight Pictures logo can already be seen in TV spots for their Will Ferrell-Julia Louis Dreyfus comedy Downhill which is making its world premiere at Sundance and opens on Feb. 14. The new 20th Century Studios label can be seen on the upcoming feature adaptation of Jack London’s Call of the Wild starring Harrison Ford, due out on Feb. 21.

Despite Fox being subtracted off the logos, they’re very similar with the klieg lights and monolith and extend the historical goodwill and heritage audiences are familiar with, especially the Alfred Newman-composed fanfare theme which is still very much intact.

Newman penned the theme in 1933 and re-recorded it in 1935 when 20th Century-Fox was officially established. The logo was designed by special effects animator and matte painting artist Emil Kosa Jr.. In 1953, Rocky Longo, an artist at Pacific Title, recreated the original logo design for the new CinemaScope picture process. In 1994, in-house Fox TV producer Kevin Burns produced a new logo using CGI adding more detail and animation, with a longer 21-second Fox fanfare.

Together, Disney and 20th Century/Searchlight made combined $13.1 billion at the global box office, with $4.3B domestic and $8.8 billion abroad. While the labels broke out their grosses for 2019 in the industry box office marketshare, with Disney at $11.1B  WW (domestic $3.76B, int’l $7.35B) and 20th Century/Searchlight at $2B ($564M domestic, $1.469B int’l), the two studios will report a combined gross going forward annually in 2020.

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