20th Century-Fox Film Corp was founded in 1935 by a merger between the the Fox Film Corporation and Daryl F. Zanuck’s 20th Century Pictures.

William Fox / Image: Twentieth Century Fox

Fox was founded in 1915 by theater magnate William A. Fox. His studio was located in Ft. Lee, NJ, the original “Hollywood” (most film companies were located there at the beginning of the 20th century). In 1917 it relocated to the Edendale area of Los Angeles and later to the corner of Sunset and Western in Hollywood, where it stood until the 1960s.

The Fox Studio Lot, circa 1930. Pico Boulevard can be seen running across the bottom of the image. / Image: Twentieth Century Fox

In 1925, knowing that sound pictures were just around the corner, Fox began buying the assets of several small sound-on-film companies. He also bought the 300 acre ranch of silent cowboy star, Tom Mix. Located just west of Beverly Hills, Fox called the new studio and back lot “Movietone.”

The Fox Studio Lot, circa 1950

In 1929 Fox lost most of his assets in the stock market crash. The same year he was badly injured in a car crash that left his right arm useless. In receivership for several years, in 1935 a merger was engineered between Fox Film Corp. and 20th Century Pictures, creating 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. under the control of Nicholas and Joseph Schenck, and Daryl F. Zannuck. The studio was rechristened with the new company name.

In 1961, needing cash very badly (due to some film failures and “Cleopatra”‘s 10 million dollar budget), 20th Century-Fox sold it’s 260 acre backlot to Alcoa, who developed the land into Century City, leaving only the front lot and sound stages to carry on the motion picture business.

Disney subsidiary

On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to purchase most of the 21st Century Fox assets, including 20th Century Fox, for $52.4 billion. After a bid from Comcast (parent company of NBC Universal) for $65 billion, Disney counterbid with $71 billion.On July 19, 2018, Comcast dropped out of the Fox bid in favor of Sky plc and Sky UK and eight days later, Disney and Fox shareholders approved the merger between the two companies.Although the deal was completed on March 20, 2019, 20th Century Fox will not relocate to Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, but will instead continue to be headquartered in Century City on the Fox Studio Lot, which is currently leased to Disney by 21st Century Fox’s successor, Fox Corporation, for seven years.Various units were moved out from under 20th Century Fox at acquisition and months after the merger plus there were several rounds of layoffs.

Website: foxmovies.com

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