20th Century Studios

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20th Century Studios
1935-2020: 20th Century Fox

legal form Corporation
founding May 31, 1935
Seat Fox Plaza , Century City , Los Angeles , California , United StatesUnited StatesUnited States 
Branch Movie
Website www.20thcenturystudios.com (English)

former logo

20th Century Studios (previously Twentieth (20th) Century Fox Film Corporation , from 1935 to 1985 with the hyphen Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation ) - also known as 20th Century Fox , CentFox and 20th or Fox before the renaming in January 2020  - is a US company -American film production company that has been part of the Walt Disney Company since March 20, 2019 . For 83 years, the company was one of the so-called major studios , the last six largest film companies in the United States. The company is based in Los Angeles .

The best-known films and film series from 20th Century Studios include Star Wars , Titanic , Avatar , Ice Age , X-Men , Die Hard , Alien , Planet of the Apes , Love, Simon and Kevin - Home Alone . There are also numerous well-known TV series such as The Simpsons , Family Guy , American Dad or the X-Files .



The company was formed on May 31, 1935 from the merger of Fox Film Corporation, which was under administration, and 20th Century Pictures .

Fox Studios in LA
Fox Plaza, Century City headquarters

From 1935 onwards, 20th Century Fox financed, produced and distributed cinema films in North America. Joseph Schenck was the company's first President, Darryl F. Zanuck took over the management of operational tasks.

Murdoch takes control

Since 1985, 20th Century Fox was a subsidiary of the News Corporation of media mogul Rupert Murdoch .

In 1994, the subsidiary Fox Searchlight Pictures was founded for the production, distribution and marketing of independent films .

Takeover by Disney

On December 14, 2017 it was officially announced that Disney plans to buy large parts of the film studio for 52.4 billion US dollars. On May 23, 2018, it was announced that the media group Comcast is also trying to buy large parts of 20th Century Fox for a sum of around 60 billion US dollars.

On March 19, 2019, Fox officially announced that the acquisition would take place the following day. With the completion of the acquisition on March 20, 2019, 20th Century Fox became the property of the Walt Disney Company . In the course of this, the company 21st Century Fox , to which 20th Century Fox previously belonged, dissolved and the rest of the company formed the new company Fox Corporation . To date, the takeover is the most expensive company purchase in the history of the American film industry, at $ 71 billion.

In early 2020, Disney announced that the Fox would be deleted from the name and replaced by studios . Since then the studio has been officially called 20th Century Studios .


Fox Music has been Fox's music division since 2000. It encompasses music publishing and licensing, primarily concerned with television and film music.

Before Fox Music, 20th Century was the music division from 1958 to 1982.

The distinguishing mark of the Fox films is the logo of an Art Deco building illuminated by spotlights , which has the shape of the characters of the company name. It was designed in 1935 by landscape painter Emil Kosa junior and originally showed the text 20th Century Pictures, Inc. Initially, it was animated picture by picture using several layers of glass.

The accompanying music was composed by Alfred Newman and is entitled "Fox Fanfare". Newman was the long-time director of the film studio's music department. The best known is the expanded CinemaScope version (with 0 in 2 0 th in italics for the purpose of additional width ) from 1954. John Williams re-recorded it in 1980 for the film The Empire Strikes Back . Alfred Newman's son David Newman took up his father's fanfare again in 1997 for the cartoon Anastasia . In the series Futurama , a 30th-century Fox sign is shown instead of the 20th century Fox sign.

A new logo was featured in the teaser trailer for Avatar - Departure for Pandora , produced by Fox-owned Blue Sky Studios . It has been announced that Avatar: Post-Pandora will be the first 20th Century Fox film to feature the new logo.

After Disney renamed 20th Century Studios in early 2020, the logo was also adapted to the new name. The first film to appear under the new logo is Call of the Wild .

Subsidiaries in German-speaking countries

Cinema success of the films awarded
in Austria
year Movies Cinema visits Market share
2004 12 1,452,511 7.9%
2005 12 1,429,570 9.49%
2006 19th 3,256,134 19.5%
2007 22nd 2,009,810 13.5%

The branches for theatrical distribution of Twentieth Century Fox films in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are located in Frankfurt am Main (Twentieth Century Fox of Germany), Vienna (Centfox Film Gesellschaft) and Zurich (Twentieth Century Fox of Switzerland) .

In Austria - as in many other countries - Centfox always ranks in the top positions among the largest distributors. Depending on which US distributor had the most successful film (s) of the year, the market leaders change almost annually. Centfox ranked 6th in 2004, 4th in 2005, 1st in 2006 and 4th again in 2007 behind Universal Pictures , Warner Bros. and Walt Disney .

Known movies


20th Century Fox has made very successful films since the company was founded. In 1937 the children's film Heidi was released , which is the first sound film adaptation of the novel of the same name . In 1939, the film adaptation of The Dog of Baskerville by director Sidney Lanfield , the novel of the same name by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle appeared . In the same year, the actors in the roles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson also used in the film The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes .


In the early 1940s was 20th Century Fox's novels John Steinbeck film, with John Ford in The Grapes of Wrath and Alfred Hitchcock in The lifeboat led directing. In the same year, the crime film Laura , which was nominated in five categories at the Academy Awards in 1945 , received an award in the category Best Cinematography . With The Miracle of Manhattan by director George Seaton , 20th Century created a black and white comedy film about Christmas that grossed three Oscar awards and two Golden Globes . The remake, which was released in 1994 under the same title , could not build on the success of the original.


The drama comedy All About Eva by director Joseph L. Mankiewicz was released in 1950 and received six awards at the 1951 Academy Awards. In 1951 appeared the science fiction - film The Day the Earth Stood Still director Robert Wise , who on the story Farewell to the Lord (Original title Farewell to the Master ) by Harry Bates is based. The remake was released at the end of 2008 under the same title (with Keanu Reeves in the lead role; director: Scott Derrickson ), but it is only partially comparable with the older version, both in terms of the basic plot and the use of visual effects . In addition, 20th Century Fox was the home studio of Marilyn Monroe and celebrated great success with her; the first of these was blondes preferred in 1953. Technically, the studio belonged to the Hollywood elite; The first widescreen film Das Gewand (1953) was made here using the in-house Cinemascope process . The second Monroe box office hit too How do you get a millionaire? (1953) was filmed using this technique and with a high degree of perfection.


The film adaptation of Planet of the Apes took place in 1968 . After the first part, 20th Century Fox decided to film four sequels (1970–1973) before the remake of the first part with Mark Wahlberg and Tim Roth in 2001 .


In 1977 appeared the Star Wars , the fourth episode of the Star Wars series represents, but the first film, which was made public. The director, George Lucas , was able to convince the studio that the science fiction film would be a success and, among other things, had the film music rights assigned to him. The studio agreed to it because the rights weren't worth that much. At the subsequent Academy Awards, the film received six awards and was an absolute box office success. This was followed by the sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Return of the Jedi (1983), before, in Lucas' opinion, the trick technique was mature so that the prequel trilogy could be filmed. So then appeared Episode I (1999), Episode II (2002) and Episode III (2005).

With Alien , a successful film series of four parts, as well as Predator (1987) and two other parts , emerged from 1979 . Its crossover - offshoots Alien vs. Predator (2004) and its second part (2007) were all released by Twentieth Century Fox.


In 1982 The Verdict appeared , which was nominated five times at the subsequent Academy Awards , but came away empty-handed. In 1985 the action film Phantom-Kommando appeared with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Alyssa Milano and the science fiction drama Cocoon by director Ron Howard with Don Ameche and Steve Guttenberg . The action film Die Hard by John McTiernan was shot on the Fox Plaza in Los Angeles, which was completed in 1987, the administrative building of 20th Century Fox and was released in theaters in 1988. Stood by Alan Rickman and Bruce Willis in the lead roles on camera. Willis made his breakthrough and he played the role of John McClane in four other sequels.


With Kevin - Alone at Home (including with Macaulay Culkin as Kevin and Joe Pesci as Harry ) a comedy was released, of which three sequels were made in 1992 , 1997 and 2002 , but could not build on the success of the first part.

In 1992, the Studio Lightstorm Entertainment , founded by James Cameron , signed a production contract with 20th Century Fox. In December 1995, both companies announced an exclusive first-look deal .

In 1997, the Cameron-directed box office hit Titanic came out . Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio played the leading roles . The film, which later won eleven Oscars , attracted over 130 million viewers to cinemas in the USA alone and grossed over 1.8 billion US dollars worldwide . The film drama was the world's most successful film by grossing , until it was replaced in 2010 by Cameron's next directing project Avatar - Departure to Pandora .


In 2000, Fox produced the comic book adaptation of X-Men , which was nominated for awards in 21 categories and received eleven awards. In this film, the comic book writer Stan Lee was seen as a hot dog seller. With the success, Fox decided to bring further sequels to the cinema and therefore produced the films X-Men 2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and X-Men: First decision (2011). The company bought the exploitation rights outside the USA and Canada for the horror thriller Shadow of Truth (2000). For the film Ali , directed by Michael Mann , Will Smith was in front of the camera as Muhammad Ali , who portrayed the story of the sporting rise of the world-class boxer and his experiences outside the ring. The film received poor reviews for its short stories and competitions.

In 2002, 20th Fox had planned animated film Ice Age of Blue Sky Studios produce an animated film which more than 380 million dollars grossed worldwide. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Film and was nominated in the same category at the Saturn Awards , Golden Satellite Awards, and the Young Artist Awards . Two more sequels were produced in 2006 and 2009. With Walking Tall (2004) the story from the film The Great Out of the Dark was picked up and filmed with the then wrestling star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson . With I, Robot , who in the novel is based, was showered with positive reviews. The disaster film by Roland Emmerich The Day After Tomorrow , which was produced in the same year and which presented the topic of climate change drastically, received more positive reviews . Total box office income from DVD sales and theatrical screenings is over $ 652 million.

With the film Slumdog Millionaire , 20th Century Fox's subsidiary Fox Searchlight Pictures produced an eight-Oscar-winning film that only released ten theaters in the United States.

The biggest box-office hit hit US cinemas in 2009. With Avatar - Departure for Pandora , James Cameron broke all attendance records and achieved a gross profit of over 2.7 billion US dollars, thus overturning Titanic from the first place of the most successful films. The film entered the Oscars with nine nominations , but received only three awards.


Well-known series

In 1972 produced Fox's subsidiary 20th Century Fox Television, the tragicomic series M * A * S * H in a mobile field hospital of the US Army ( M obile A rmy S urgical H ospital) during the Korean War plays. The series is based on the 1970 film MASH by Robert Altman . After eleven seasons, the series ended in 1983 and received a total of 8 Golden Globes , 7 Emmys (with 99 nominations) and numerous other awards. The M * A * S * H conclusion on February 28, 1983, at 77 percent, had the highest viewing rate for a television series in the United States to date . About 106 million viewers saw this episode. The seasons have been translated into 15 languages ​​and broadcast in 25 countries. It was first broadcast in Germany on January 5, 1990 on ProSieben .

With A Colt for All Cases , Fox produced a series from 1981–1986 that dealt with the subject of bounty hunters . The idea came from Glen A. Larson . The action television series won the Stuntman Award in 1985. In 1982, the crime series Hart but cordially appeared in which the main characters, who actually lead a luxury life, repeatedly slip into criminal cases. After five seasons, the series ended in 1987, which was awarded a Golden Globe.

Fox and Matt Groening have been producing the world's most famous animated series, The Simpsons, since 1989 . The Simpsons have won 27 Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards, and more. In addition to the series, the movie The Simpsons was produced in 2007 and numerous comics and computer games were distributed. With over 500 episodes in 24 seasons so far, this is the longest-running series. From 1993 onwards, New York Cops - NYPD Blue was produced in 261 episodes, which were widely recognized as very realistic and showed the daily work of the homicide squad at a fictional police station of the New York City Police Department in Manhattan . Characteristic are the shaky camera work, the often vulgar tone, the excessively high level of physical violence by the police and revealing sex scenes. However, the intensely characterized main characters and the multitude of long-running, episode-spanning storylines that also include the characters' private lives are characteristic. In return, the series was initially very controversial, but later successful.

The X-Files - The FBI's Scary Cases was created from 1993 to 2002 in the style of a crime series that was combined with science fiction , fantasy and horror elements. The X-Files is thus considered to be an important founder of the mystery genre in its current form. This was followed by the two films The X Files - The Movie (1998) and The X Files - Beyond Truth (2008) in which the two main characters were cast with the lead roles from the series ( David Duchovny as Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully ). From 1997 to 2003 Fox brought the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer onto television. In addition to this series, a spin-off ( Angel , 1999-2004, also produced by 20th Century Fox Television) and several comic series were published. The series is about the vampire hunter Buffy , equipped with mystical powers , who fights with her friends against demons , vampires and the problems of growing up.

The Ally McBeal (1997-2002) lawyer series with the eponymous title character received two Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards . In this series, actors such as Bruce Willis , Tony Shalhoub , Tracey Ullman but also musicians such as Sting , Tina Turner , Jon Bon Jovi and Anastacia had guest appearances as clients.

King of the Hill was a satirical American animated television series thatranon Fox from 1997 to 2009. The series goes back to an idea by Beavis-and-Butt-Head creator Mike Judge . Family Guy is an American animated series produced under the direction of Seth MacFarlane since 1999. The series revolves around the life of the Griffin family in the fictional American town of Quahog in Rhode Island . Production of the series began in 1999 and ended in 2003, before continuing production since 2005. Matt Groening, who starteda successful animated serieswith The Simpsons , also created Futurama (1999-2002, 2010-2013) which is set at the beginning of the 31st century and about the everyday life and adventures of befriended employees of the interstellar delivery company Planet Express based in New New York told. After the first production period, the four films Futurama: Bender's Big Score , Futurama: The Era of the Tentacle , Futurama: Bender's Game and Futurama: Leela and the Encyclopedias were produced before the animated series was subsequently brought back to life.

With Malcolm in the Middle (2000–2007), the story of a family belonging to the American lower middle class is told. In addition to a series of parallel plots, the main theme, especially in the first seasons, is how the third eldest son Malcolm deals with his giftedness and its impact on his life. In the action series 24 (2001-2010), Kiefer Sutherland played the agent Jack Bauer of the fictional anti-terrorist unit CTU , who tries to prevent terrorist attacks. Due to the writers' dispute in 2007 , the television film 24: Redemption was released .

With Dark Angel (2002-2002) a short-lived but well-known series by James Cameron was realized, in which a genetically modified soldier (played by Jessica Alba ) fights against corrupt America. From 2004 to 2007 OC, California was released , the series never had high ratings, but sales of the first season were at times the best-selling series DVD in Germany. The OC received several Teen Choice Awards from 2003–2006 . Boston Legal (2004-2008) was the second David E. Kelley lawyer series to be produced after Ally McBeal . Boston Legal is about the day-to-day work of the prestigious Boston law firm Crane, Poole & Schmidt . The series is an offshoot of the award-winning lawyer series Practice - The Lawyers , which consistently and controversially dealt with the unattractive side of American criminal law. Boston Legal , on the other hand, deals with both civil and criminal law and also places an emphasis on the bizarre characters. The main roles were played by James Spader and William Shatner .

Dr. House was an American series about the doctor Dr. Gregory House (played by Hugh Laurie ), a specialist in diagnostics, who has a special flair for diagnosing extraordinary clinical pictures. In May 2012, the series ended after eight seasons and over 170 episodes with a two-hour series finale. The first part was an episode with flashbacks to the 8 seasons. The series has won multiple Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, People's Choice Awards, and other awards. American Dad (since 2005) is an animated series by Seth MacFarlane , who also wrote Family Guy . The series is a parody of how fear of terrorist attacks has been dealt with in the United States since September 11, 2001 . The plot follows the family man Stanley Smith , his work for the CIA and his family with all beings living there. Bones also starts in 2005 and is a crime series. The focus of the series is the forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan , whose nickname is Bones . In the same year the series How I Met Your Mother appeared . The starting point of How I Met Your Mother is that the character Ted Mosby wants to tell his children in 2030 in all details how he got to know their mother. Prison Break (2005–2009) was an action series in which a man intentionally puts himself in jail to save his brother from the death penalty and to break out with him again. The series received a People's Choice Award. The musical comedy series Glee has been broadcast since 2009. So far, numerous DVDs, Blu-rays, a book series, an iPad application and a karaoke game for the Wii have been published for the series. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Glee received a Golden Globe Award for the best series in its genre. From the series, the film Glee on Tour - the 3D film emerged .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 20th Century Fox - Chronology , (page accessed April 8, 2012);
  2. About 20th Century Fox , Official German 20 Century Fox Website. (Page accessed April 8, 2012);
  3. a b c Just no Fox in the name. In: zeit.de. January 18, 2020, accessed February 1, 2020 .
  4. Ryan Reynolds confirms: Deadpool is now a Disney princess. Retrieved March 20, 2019 .
  5. ^ The Walt Disney Company To Acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., After Spinoff Of Certain Businesses, For $ 52.4 Billion In Stock - The Walt Disney Company . In: The Walt Disney Company . December 14, 2017 ( thewaltdisneycompany.com [accessed December 14, 2017]).
  6. ^ Dade Hayes: Comcast Confirms Plan To Counter Disney With Richer, All-Cash Offer For Fox . In: Deadline . May 23, 2018 ( deadline.com [accessed May 24, 2018]).
  7. Ryan Reynolds confirms: Deadpool is now a Disney princess. Retrieved March 20, 2019 .
  8. ^ About The Walt Disney Company: Studio Entertainment. In: thewaltdisneycompany.com. Retrieved February 1, 2020 .
  9. ^ A b Jim McCauley: Disney redesigns 20th Century Fox, without the Fox. In: creativebloq.com. January 28, 2020, accessed on February 1, 2020 .
  10. ^ Film Industry Report 2006, facts + figures 2004 (PDF) , Österreichisches Filminstitut , distribution information according to Nielsen EDI , June 2006, p. 29 (page accessed on April 11, 2008); The last “1” in the visitor numbers at Centfox has obviously slipped into the next column (“Market share”); if the "1" is corrected accordingly, the information together with all the others results in the sums below.
  11. Film Industry Report 2007, facts + figures 2005 (PDF) , Austrian Film Institute, distribution information according to Nielsen EDI, June 2007, p. 31 (page accessed on April 11, 2008)
  12. Film Industry Report 2007, facts + figures 2006 (PDF) , Austrian Film Institute, distribution information according to Nielsen EDI, December 2007, p. 31 (page accessed on April 11, 2008)
  13. Film Industry Report 2008, facts + figures 2007 (PDF) , Österreichisches Filminstitut, distribution information according to Nielsen EDI, August 2008, p. 29 (page accessed on December 23, 2008)
  14. Branch offices for the theatrical distribution of Twentieth Century Fox films in Zurich. Schweizer Film = Film Suisse: official organ of Switzerland, accessed on June 9, 2020 .
  15. Lightstorm prez exits . In: Variety, June 9, 1993
  16. Cameron's Lightstorm Docks At Fox . In: Variety, December 17, 1995

Coordinates: 34 ° 3 ′ 4 "  N , 118 ° 24 ′ 41"  W.