The mouse has officially killed the fox. 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 February 21.
And now, Disney is set to start removing the "Fox" branding from its film studios.
While Disney had acquired the 20th Century Fox film and TV studios from 21st Century Fox, the purchase did not include the Fox broadcast network or Fox News. Discussions about a possible name change are underway, but no consensus has emerged, according to a source close to the situation.
The new Searchlight Pictures logo, for example, is already visible on TV spots for the upcoming "Force Majeure" remake "Downhill", starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a couple in crisis while on vacation at a ski resort. The film will be the first Searchlight release to debut with the new logo.
These moves are not entirely shocking: Rupert Murdoch's company is still called Fox Corporation.
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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. Murdoch further expanded the Fox brand with the 1996 launch of Fox News, which established a (highly lucrative) reputation for conservative partisanship; by the time of Disney's acquisition, Fox News had also weathered multiple sexual misconduct scandals.
So far, the newly combined Disney and 20th Century/Searchlight racked up more than $13 billion at the global box office past year, including $8.8 billion overseas and $4.3 billion stateside. And keeping their brand away from the issues being named "Fox" brings to their family brand.
"I think the Fox name means Murdoch, and that is toxic", an insider told Variety.