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20th Century Studios logo, since 2020

The new 20th Century Fox logo, as attached to trailers and TV spots for Avatar and probably the film itself.

20th Century Fox's logo used from 1994-2009, as available in James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

20th Century Studios, Inc. (formerly Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation) is a major film studio that distributes the Avatar movies.

Founded in 1935, Fox grew to become one of the "Big Six" studios that dominated Hollywood between 1986 and 2019. Located in the Century City area of Los Angeles, just west of Beverly Hills, the studio was a subsidiary of News Corporation, the media conglomerate owned by Rupert Murdoch, before being merged into the The Walt Disney Company by a purchase in 2019, subsequently changing its name to 20th Century Studios in 2020.


The company was founded on December 28, 1934, as the result of a merger of two entities, Fox Film Corporation founded by William Fox in 1915, and Twentieth Century Pictures, begun in 1933 by Darryl F. Zanuck and company.

The collaboration between Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox can indirectly be traced back to a $500 million deal in 1992, which contracted James Cameron to develop twelve more movies with the company. The move followed the success of Terminator 2, which had recently been released. All of James Cameron's theatrical features from that point forwards, such as Titanic and Avatar, have been with the company.[1]

Purchase by Disney[]


On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced that it was acquiring most of Fox's parent company, 21st Century Fox, including the film studio.[2] This bid was cast into doubt in May 2018 when it was reported that Comcast was in talks for an all-cash bid, reportedly worth $60 billion, that threatened the Disney-Fox deal.[3] This resulted in a several counter-bids as the companies competed- with a $65 billion bid from Comcast,[4][5] and then a $71.3 billion offer from Disney in June.[6][7]

On June 27, the United States Department of Justice gave antitrust approval to Disney under the condition of selling Fox's 22 regional sports channels, to which the company has agreed.[8] That July, Disney received the support of the Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, the two most prominent proxy adviser firms in the world. Fox shareholders were recommended by the advisers as means to provide for Disney's future.[9] Comcast subsequently announced that they were dropping their bid on the Fox assets in order to focus on their bid for Sky. The CEO of Comcast, Brian L. Roberts, said "I'd like to congratulate Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating such a desirable and respected company."[10] The move was then approved by both sets of shareholders. Over the following year, the deal received regulatory approval from the Competition Commission of India,[11] the European Commission,[12][13], China,[14], Mexico's Federal Commission of Economic Competition (COFECE),[15]and finally Brazil.[16]

On March 19, Fox Corporation officially became a standalone, publicly traded company, separate from 21st Century Fox, making Fox Corp the owner of the assets that were not acquired by Disney. The announcement also included appointment of the board of directors.[17] Also on March 19, 21st Century Fox officially completed distribution of shares ahead of the completion of the Disney deal on March 20.[18] The deal was officially completed the following day.[19]


On March 21, it was reported that Disney would shut down the Fox 2000 Pictures studio on October 4, 2019, following the release of The Woman in the Window.[20] On the same day it was reported that up to 4,000 people could lose their jobs as Disney commenced layoffs following the merger.[21][22]

Because of the acquisition many films originally planned for release in 2019 and 2020, were moved to other release dates. The films affected were Artemis Fowl, Ad Astra, Spies in Disguise, The New Mutants, and Call of the Wild.[23]

Notable past films and film franchises[]

Note: Some films listed here were only founded and/or distrubuted by 20th Century Fox, not necessarily produced directly by the studio.

See also[]


  • Despite showing rather poor sales from movies like Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and The Tooth Fairy, 20th Century Fox managed to dominate Q1 sales of 2010 solely from year-over holdovers as a result of Avatar, which accounted for more than half of the company's sales.


  1. Thompson, Anne (May 22, 1992). "James Cameron's 12-picture deal". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on January 14, 2019.
  2. "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 (December 14, 2017). Retrieved on December 14, 2017.
  3. Smith, Gerry (May 8, 2018). "Fox Jumps on Report That Comcast Is Considering Counterbid to Disney". Bloomberg. Retrieved on May 7, 2018.
  4. Littleton, Cynthia (June 12, 2018). "Decisive AT&T Victory Sets Stage for Comcast to Challenge Disney for 21st Century Fox Assets". Variety. Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
  5. Welch, Chris (June 13, 2018). "Comcast makes $65 billion offer to steal 21st Century Fox away from Disney". The Verge. Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
  6. Turner, Nick (June 20, 2018). "Disney Sweetens Offer for Fox to $71 Billion, Outbidding Comcast". Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
  7. "The Walt Disney Company Signs Amended Acquisition Agreement To Acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., For $71.3 Billion In Cash And Stock". The Walt Disney Company (June 20, 2018). Retrieved on June 21, 2018.
  8. "Disney wins US antitrust approval to buy Fox assets". CNBC (June 27, 2018). Retrieved on June 28, 2018.
  9. Sakoui, Anousha (July 13, 2018). "Disney's $71 Billion Fox Bid Wins Backing From ISS, Glass Lewis". Bloomberg. Retrieved on July 13, 2018.
  10. Gartenberg, Chaim (July 19, 2018). "Comcast gives up on buying 21st Century Fox assets and leaves Disney as the winner". The Verge. Retrieved on July 19, 2018.
  11. Malvania, Urvi (August 12, 2018). "Fox-Disney deal: CCI approves takeover of Murdoch's company in India". Smart Investor. Retrieved on August 18, 2018.
  12. Mitchell, Robert (October 15, 2018). "Disney Offers Concessions to Secure E.U. Approval of Fox Deal". Variety. Retrieved on October 16, 2018.
  13. Roxborough, Scott (November 6, 2018). "Disney's Fox Deal Gets European Union Clearance Subject to Divestments". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on November 6, 2018.
  14. Salinas, Sara (November 19, 2018). "Disney gets approval from China for its Fox acquisition, sending shares of both companies up". CNBC. Retrieved on November 19, 2018.
  15. "Clarification on Disney/Fox transaction". Cofece (February 6, 2019). Retrieved on February 8, 2019.
  16. Chu, Henry (February 27, 2019). "Disney-Fox Merger Nears Completion as Brazil Grants Approval With Conditions". Variety. Retrieved on February 27, 2019.
  17. Littleton, Cynthia (March 18, 2019). "Fox Corporation Emerges as Standalone Entity, Paul Ryan Joins Board". Variety. Retrieved on March 19, 2019.
  18. "21st Century Fox Announces Completion of Distribution in Connection with Disney Acquisition". 21st Century Fox (March 19, 2019). Retrieved on March 19, 2019.
  19. Szalai, Georg (March 20, 2019). "Disney Closes $71.3 Billion Fox Deal, Creating Global Content Powerhouse". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on March 20, 2019.
  20. Fleming, Mike (March 21, 2019). "Elizabeth Gabler’s Fox 2000 To Shutter As Disney Takes Over". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved on March 21, 2019.
  21. Griffin, David (March 21, 2019). "Fox Layoffs Begin Following Disney Merger, 4,000 Jobs Expected to Be Cut". IGN. Retrieved on March 26, 2019.
  22. McClintock, Pamela (March 21, 2019). "Layoffs Begin at 20th Century Fox After Disney Deal Closes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on March 26, 2019.
  23. Lang, Brent (May 7, 2019). "Disney Announces New 'Star Wars' Films, Moves 'Avatar' Sequels". Variety. Retrieved on May 7, 2019.

External Links and Bibliography[]