Searchlight Pictures

Searchlight Pictures
Fox Searchlight Pictures (1994–2020)
Industry Film
Founded 1994; 26 years ago (1994)
Founder Thomas Rothman[1]
Headquarters 10201 West Pico Boulevard
Building 38, 1st Floor, ,
Area served
Key people
  • Nancy Utley (Co-Chairman)
  • Stephen Gilula (Co-Chairman)
Products Motion pictures
Revenue Increase $6.50 million (2007)[3]
Number of employees
Parent The Walt Disney Studios

Searchlight Pictures (formerly Fox Searchlight Pictures) is an American film studio that is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company.[4][5] It is a sister studio of the larger film studio 20th Century Studios. Searchlight specializes in the production and distribution of independent North American, European, and British films alongside comedy-drama, horror, art-house, and foreign films, all of which the studio sometimes finances.

Searchlight's Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, and The Shape of Water have all won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 81st, 86th, 87th, and 90th Academy Awards respectively, as well as a further 15 Academy Awards combined. 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. Slumdog Millionaire is also 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 is 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] Searchlight Pictures' name was changed from Fox Searchlight Pictures on January 17, 2020.[5]


Fox Searchlight Pictures was founded in 1994 by Thomas Rothman.[8] Prior to the creation of Searchlight, Fox previously released independent films and specialty releases 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.[9]

In 2006, a sub-label, Fox Atomic, was created to produce and/or distribute genre films.[10] Fox Atomic closed down in 2009.[11]

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".[12][5]

List of releases


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.[13][14] 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.[15]

See also


  1. ^ "Executive Profile: Thomas E. Rothman". Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  2. ^ "Company Overview of Searchlight Pictures, Inc".
  3. ^ "Searchlight Pictures Company Profile". Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  4. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (March 19, 2019). "Disney Completes 21st Century Fox Acquisition". Variety. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  5. ^ 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 January 17, 2020.
  6. ^ "Slumdog Millionaire (2008)". Box Office Mojo.
  7. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 30, 2020). "Emma Watts Leaves Disney's 20th Century Studios". Retrieved February 3, 2020. Post-merger, Fox Searchlight, now re-branded 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 Studios (which recently dropped the Fox) was melded into the bigger Disney fold, fusing all its operations.
  8. ^ "Executive Profile: Thomas E. Rothman". Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  9. ^ Tzioumakis, Yannis (2012). Hollywood's Indies: Classics Divisions, Specialty Labels and the American Film Market, pp. 55-58. Edinburgh University Press.
  10. ^ Walsh, Mark (July 20, 2006). "Fox Atomic Unveils Broadband Site". Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  11. ^ Miller, Ross (April 21, 2009). "20th Century Fox Closing Down Fox Atomic". Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  12. ^ Vary, Adam B. (January 17, 2020). "Disney Drops Fox Name, Will Rebrand as 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures". Variety. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike (April 11, 2018). "Searchlight Launches TV Division; David Greenbaum, Matthew Greenfield Upped To Production Presidents For Film, TV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  14. ^ Bradley, Laura. "What Searchlight's New TV Division Means for the Future of Prestige TV". Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Andreeva, Nellie (April 10, 2019). "Hulu Orders 'The Dropout' Limited Series Starring Kate McKinnon As Elizabeth Holmes From Searchlight TV". Deadline. Retrieved May 7, 2019.

External links