Fox Searchlight Pictures
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Fox Searchlight Pictures

Searchlight Pictures, Inc.
Searchlight Pictures Corporation
Fox Searchlight Pictures (1994-2020)
Founded1994; 26 years ago (1994)
FounderThomas Rothman[1]
Headquarters10201 West Pico Boulevard
Building 38, 1st Floor, ,
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Nancy Utley (Co-Chairman)

Stephen Gilula (Co-Chairman) David Greenbaum (Co-President of Production)

Matthew Greenfield (Co-President of Production)
ProductsMotion pictures
Number of employees
ParentThe Walt Disney Studios
SubsidiariesSearchlight Television

Searchlight Pictures, Inc., also known as the Searchlight Pictures Corporation (or simply Searchlight), is an American film studio within The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company.[3][4] Formerly known as Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., it is a sister company of the larger Disney studio 20th Century Studios (formerly 20th Century Fox). Searchlight Pictures is best known for distributing the films Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, and The Shape of Water, all of which won an Academy Award presented for best picture.[5]

Other Best Picture nominations include The Full Monty, Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Black Swan, 127 Hours, The Tree of Life, The Descendants, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Brooklyn, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Favourite, and Jojo Rabbit. The studio have grossed over $5.3 billion worldwide and amassed 26 Golden Globe Awards, 47 BAFTA awards, and 40 Academy Awards. Slumdog Millionaire is the studio's largest commercial success, with over $377 million (US) of box office receipts, against a production budget of only $15 million.[6]

Searchlight Pictures was one of the 21st Century Fox film production companies that was acquired by Disney on March 20, 2019. Searchlight, however, continues to operate its own distribution unit for its films autonomously from Disney's main distribution unit.[7]


1997 logo used as Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Prior to the creation of Searchlight, Twentieth Century Fox was active in the specialty film market, releasing independent and specialty films under the banner of 20th Century-Fox International Classics, later renamed 20th Century-Fox Specialized Film Division, then TLC Films. The most notable of the releases under these banners include Suspiria, Bill Cosby: Himself, Eating Raoul, The Gods Must Be Crazy, Reuben, Reuben, and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.[8]

In the early 1990s, Twentieth Century Fox executives decided to emulate the commercial success of Disney's newly acquired Miramax studio. In 1994 Twentieth announced the formation of a subsidiary that would drive their entry into the specialty film market, and in July that year, they brought in Thomas Rothman, then president of production at The Samuel Goldwyn Company, to head up the new subsidiary. It was soon given the name Fox Searchlight Pictures, with Rothman as its founding president.[9][1] The new company inherited the familiar branding elements associated with Twentieth Century Fox; Fox Searchlight films opened with a production logo consisting of the Fox Searchlight name presented as a large monolith, illuminated by the eponymous searchlights and accompanied by the Twentieth Century fanfare composed by Alfred Newman.[4][10]

From its first release, The Brothers McMullen (1995), Fox Searchlight went to distribute a series of independent films such as Girl 6, Stealing Beauty, and She's the One (all 1996).[11] While critically well received, these early releases were not commercially very successful; Fox Searchlight's first real commercial breakthrough came with The Full Monty (1997), garnering the studio's first awards.[12]

In 2006, a companion label, Fox Atomic, was created to produce and/or distribute genre films.[13] Fox Atomic closed down in 2009.[14]

The acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney took place on March 20, 2019,[15] including Fox Searchlight.[16]

As of November 2019, FX and Fox Searchlight were assigned to supply Hulu with content.[17] On January 17, 2020, it was announced that the "Fox" name would be dropped from several of the Fox assets that were acquired by Disney, shortening the company's name to "Searchlight Pictures", in favor of distancing it from Fox Corporation.[18][4]

Film library


Since 1994, Searchlight Pictures has accumulated 159 Academy Award nominations with 40 wins (including 4 Best Picture winners since 2009),[19] 117 Golden Globe nominations with 26 wins,[20] 173 BAFTA nominations with 47 wins,[21] 66 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations with 12 wins,[22] 215 Critics Choice Award nominations with 55 wins,[23] and 137 Independent Spirit Awards nominations with 54 wins.[24]

Searchlight Television

In April 2018, the studio launched Searchlight Television, broadening the variety of projects produced under the Searchlight banner. It is headed by David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield.[25][26] Both original material and adaptations of Searchlight's existing film library will be produced for cable, streaming and broadcast television, in the form of documentaries, scripted series, limited series and more. In April 2019, the Hulu streaming service ordered The Dropout, starring Kate McKinnon from Searchlight Television.[27]



  1. ^ a b "Executive Profile: Thomas E. Rothman". Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ "Company Overview of Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc".
  3. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (March 19, 2019). "Disney Completes 21st Century Fox Acquisition". Variety. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Barnes, Brooks (January 17, 2020). "Disney Drops Fox From Names of Studios It Bought From Rupert Murdoch". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "Nomadland, The French Dispatch, Antlers, Searchlight Shorts, The Personal History Of David Copperfield". Searchlight Pictures. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "Slumdog Millionaire (2008)". Box Office Mojo.
  7. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 30, 2020). "Emma Watts Leaves 20th Century Fox". Retrieved 2020. Post-merger, Fox Searchlight Pictures, enjoys a lot of autonomy in the Disney empire, greenlighting pics they know and operating their own distribution, publicity and marketing teams. 20th Century Fox was melded into the bigger Disney fold, fusing all its operations.
  8. ^ Tzioumakis 2013, pp. 55-58.
  9. ^ Tzioumakis 2013, pp. 135.
  10. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 17, 2020). "Fox Removed From 20th Century & Searchlight Logos As Disney Updates Labels". Deadline. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ Tzioumakis 2013, pp. 141.
  12. ^ Tzioumakis 2013, pp. 134.
  13. ^ Walsh, Mark (July 20, 2006). "Fox Atomic Unveils Broadband Site". Retrieved 2016.
  14. ^ Miller, Ross (April 21, 2009). "20th Century Fox Closing Down Fox Atomic". Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ Szalai, Georg; Bond, Paul (March 20, 2019). "Disney Closes $71.3 Billion Fox Deal, Creating Global Content Powerhouse". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 20, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ Hipes, Patrick (March 21, 2019). "After Trying Day, Disney Sets Film Leadership Lineup". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved 2019. Fox Animation (including Blue Sky Studios) will continue to be led by Co-Presidents Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird.
  17. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (November 7, 2019). "FX to Produce Original Series for Hulu as Brands Become More Closely Intertwined". Variety. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ Vary, Adam B. (January 17, 2020). "Disney Drops Fox Name, Will Rebrand as 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures". Variety. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ "Browser Unsupported - Academy Awards Search | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences". Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "Winners & Nominees 2020". Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ "BAFTA Awards". Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ "The 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards | Screen Actors Guild Awards". Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ "Critics Choice Awards | Critics Choice Awards". Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ "History". Film Independent. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ Fleming, Mike (April 11, 2018). "Searchlight Launches TV Division; David Greenbaum, Matthew Greenfield Upped To Production Presidents For Film, TV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ Bradley, Laura. "What Searchlight's New TV Division Means for the Future of Prestige TV". Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 10, 2019). "Hulu Orders 'The Dropout' Limited Series Starring Kate McKinnon As Elizabeth Holmes From Searchlight TV". Deadline. Retrieved 2019.


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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