20th Century Studios Home Entertainment

20th Century Studios Home Entertainment (commonly referred to as 20th Home Video,[2][3][4] or 20th Century Home Entertainment) is a home video label of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment that releases films produced by 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, and 20th Century Animation, and television series by 20th Television, Searchlight Television, and 20th Television Animation in home entertainment formats.

20th Century Studios Home Entertainment
20th Century Home Entertainment
  • 20th Century-Fox Video (1982)
  • CBS/Fox Video (1982–2001)
  • Fox Video (1991–1998)
  • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (1995–2020)
IndustryHome video
Founded1976; 47 years ago (1976)
ProductsHome video
ParentWalt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Website20th Century Studios Movies
Footnotes / references

Founded in 1976, it served as its own distinct home video distribution arm of Fox Entertainment Group. On March 20, 2019, The Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox, and as a result, 20th Century Home Entertainment's operations were folded into Disney's own home entertainment division. It now operates as a label of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and also releases titles from other studios it has prior distribution deals with.


Magnetic Video and 20th Century-Fox VideoEdit

Magnetic Video was formed in 1967 by Andre Blay. Magnetic Video licensed 50 films from 20th Century Fox, including The Sound of Music and Patton, through Twentieth Century-Fox Telecommunications. The films were released under the Magnetic Video banner on video cassette tapes and sold via a back page ad in TV Guide.[5]

Blay sold Magnetic Video to 20th Century Fox in 1979, which made the company the first home video division of a major Hollywood studio. Blay continued on as the subsidiary's president and CEO. Working directly with the Plitt Theatres chain in early 1980, they launched a pilot program to sell videotapes through movie theater lobbies. Through a distributor, a similar program was set up with United Artists Theaters.[5]

In March 1982, Magnetic Video changed its name to 20th Century-Fox Video, Inc., though it continued to be headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan. However, Blay was forced out at the time, with Telecommunications division president and CEO Steve Roberts taking charge of TCF Video.[5]

During this time, 20th Century-Fox Video released a few titles for rental only, including Dr. No, A Fistful of Dollars, Rocky, Taps, For Your Eyes Only, Omen III: The Final Conflict, Chu Chu and the Philly Flash, La Cage aux Folles II, and Star Wars. While sale tapes were in big boxes that were later used by CBS/Fox in its early years, Video Rental Library tapes were packaged in black clamshell cases. Similar approaches were taken by other companies.

CBS/Fox VideoEdit

CBS/Fox Video was formed in June 1982 by the merger of TCF Video with CBS Video Enterprises; the deal was made after Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which had recently merged with United Artists, decided to remove CBS as a partner of MGM/CBS Home Video, which was subsequently renamed to MGM/UA Home Video.[6] This was publicly announced on June 18, 1982, where they announced CBS's 40-acre film and production facility in Studio City, California (currently known as the CBS Studio Center) would be operated by both companies.[7] In the process, CBS and Fox continued to independently supply programs for the home video market, while CBS/Fox supplied films from motion picture studios.[6]

Roberts remained head of the joint-venture, but was replaced as president in January 1983 by a former Columbia Pictures executive, Larry Hilford. Hilford had been a verbal critic of the video rental business, but with the situation out of their control, he attempted to make the situation work for them. CBS/Fox and other home video units increased prices of the cassettes by around 67% to maximize income. They also moved to encourage customer purchasing instead of renting. As a part of that, CBS/Fox looked to existing retail chains for direct sales. Toys "R" Us and Child World signed the first direct deals in July 1985 with CBS/Fox. Walt Disney Home Video soon followed with a direct deal with Toys "R" Us.[5]

At the end of 1990, CBS/Fox reported they controlled 6.5% of the home video market and reported revenues of $249 million.[8]

In March 1991, a reorganization of the company was implemented, which would give Fox greater control of the joint venture. All of CBS/Fox's distribution functions were transferred to the newly formed FoxVideo, which would also take over exclusive distribution of all 20th Century Fox products. CBS began releasing their products under the "CBS Video" name (which had been sparingly used since the 1970s), with CBS/Fox handling marketing and FoxVideo handling distribution. CBS/Fox would retain the license to non-theatrical products from third parties, including those from BBC Video and the NBA.[9][10]

FoxVideo was run by president Bob DeLellis, a 1984 hire at CBS/Fox and rose to group vice president and president in 1991. With expected repeat viewing, FoxVideo dropped prices on family films starting in June 1991 with Home Alone at a suggested list price of $24.98, to encourage purchasing over rental.[5]

Bill Mechanic's arrival in 1993 from Walt Disney Home Video, as the new head of Fox Filmed Entertainment, saw new plans to move Fox forward, including FoxVideo. However, DeLellis was initially left alone, as Mechanic was occupied setting up multiple creative divisions within Fox. Mechanic had been the one to install the "Vault" moratorium strategy at Disney. Mrs. Doubtfire was released soon after Mechanic's arrival with a sell through price, and surpassed sale projections at 10 million tapes.[5]

20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentEdit

Final logo as 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The company was renamed Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (also called simply Fox Home Entertainment) on March 16, 1995[11] with the addition to Fox Video of distribution operations, three other labels (Fox Kids Video, CBS Video, and CBS/Fox Video) and two new media units, Fox Interactive and Magnet Interactive Studios. Total revenue for the expanded business unit would have been over $800 million, with FoxVideo providing the bulk at $650 million. Mechanic kept DeLellis as president of the expanded unit's North American operation, with Jeff Yap as international president. By May 1995, Fox had Magnet under a worldwide label deal for 10 to 12 titles through 1996. TCFHE would also be responsible for DVD when they hit the market.[12] Mechanic had Fox Home Entertainment institute the moratorium strategy with the August 1995 release of the three original Star Wars movies giving them a sales window before going off the market forever; four months for New Hope, and until the fall of 1997 for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Sales topped 30 million copies over expectations. The company's 1996 release of Independence Day sold 18 million units, making it the industry's bestselling live-action home video release.[5] In 1996, Saban Entertainment, who had left WarnerVision Entertainment, had signed a deal with the company for distribution.[13]

With the May 1997 departure of DeLellis, a quick rotation of presidents lead Fox Home Entertainment: Yapp for four months before he left to lead Hollywood Video, then an interim president—Pat Wyatt, head of Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising, in September 1997. With DVD being a Warner Home Video property, the company did not initially issue DVDs; instead, Fox advocated for digital VHS tapes (which eventually emerged as the obscure D-Theater), then the disposable DIVX. DIVX, a DVD variant that had limited viewing time, launched by the Circuit City consumer electronics chain in June 1998. With DVD's low cost at $20 and DIVX at $4.50, and the desirability for consumers to own DVDs, the DVD format won quickly out over DIVX. News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch wanted a deal with Time Warner Cable, as to secure a lower channel position for the then-new Fox Family Channel, so Mechanic adopted the DVD format to smooth the deal.[5]

By 1998, Wyatt became permanent president of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Wyatt then became head of Fox Consumer Products, which put together the video and licensing unit. Wyatt had to drop the licensing half eventually, as the home video unit boomed. DVD sales were so strong during this period that they factored into green-lighting theatrical films. Wyatt reorganized Fox Home Entertainment, and forged a partnership with replicator Cinram. Being ahead of the other studios, TCFHE began picking up additional outside labels as distribution clients, with their fees covering the company's overhead. Fox Home Entertainment won multiple Vendor of the Year awards. Wyatt's system was a great edge for years. The TV-on-DVD business was initiated by Wyatt through the release of whole seasons of The X-Files, The Simpsons and 24, which started the binge-watching concept. However, the videocassette rental business was declining such that video rental chains signed revenue-sharing deals with the studios, so additional copies of hits could be brought in for a lower price, and share sales for more customer satisfaction.[5]

Mechanic left Fox in June 2000, while Wyatt resigned in December 2002. Jim Gianopulos replaced Mechanic, while executive vice president of domestic marketing and sales, Mike Dunn, took over from Wyatt. Wyatt left to start a direct-to-video film production and financing company for Japanese-style animated programming.[5]

In 2004, 20th Century Fox passed on theatrical distribution, but picked up domestic home video rights to The Passion of the Christ. Passion sold 15 million DVDs. TCFHE continued obtaining additional Christian films' domestic home video rights for movies like Mother Teresa and the Beyond the Gates of Splendor documentary. After a 2005 test with a Fox Faith website, in 2006, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment launched its own film production banner for religious films using the same name.[14]

Effective October 1, 2005, 20th Century Fox Scandinavia was split into two, 20th Century Fox Theatrical Sweden and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Scandinavia. For the Home Entertainment Scandinavia division, Peter Paumgardhen was appointed managing director and would report to Gary Ferguson, the senior vice president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.[15]

By 2005, DVD was on the decline and the rise of HDTVs required a new, high-resolution format; Fox and half the studios backed Blu-ray, while the other half backed HD DVD, and some planned to issue releases in both formats. In late 2006, the company began releasing its titles on Blu-ray.[16] Blu-ray won the format war in 2008, but with streaming services picking up in popularity and the Great Recession, the expected rebound in disc sales never happened.[5] In 2006, animation studio DIC Entertainment received a deal with the studio to release certain cartoons on DVD.[17]

With Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer moving its home video distribution to TCFHE in 2006, by this time the company had moved into second place behind Warner Bros. and ahead of Walt Disney, and had its best year yet. In October, Fox Home Entertainment issued the first to include a digital copy along on a disc with the special-edition DVD of Live Free or Die Hard. The 2010 Blu-ray release of Avatar was the year's top-selling title and the top Blu-ray Disc seller, with 5 million units sold. In 2011, Fox released on Blu-ray Disc the full Star Wars double trilogy on 9 discs, a premium set selling 1 million units its first week in stores, generating $84 million in gross sales.[5]

In response to Warner Bros., Sony and MGM issuing manufactured-on-demand lines of no-frills DVD-R editions of older films in May 2012, TCFHE began releasing its Cinema Archives series. By November 30, 2012, the archive series had released 100 movies.[18] Fox Home Entertainment also started the early window policy, where the digital version is released through digital retailers two or three weeks before the discs, and was launched with Prometheus in September 2012. This also started Fox's Digital HD program where customers could download or stream 600 Fox films on connected devices at less than $15/film through multiple major platforms. However, Digital HD was soon dropped as 4K, or Ultra HD, was introduced in 2012. In 2014, a high-tech think tank, Fox Innovation Lab, was formed under 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.[5]

In September 2015, the first Ultra HD Blu-ray player was introduced, leading TCFHE to have future movies released the same day in Ultra HD Blu-ray as regular Blu-ray and DVD. The first Ultra HD Blu-ray films were released in March 2016, with Fox being one of four studios involved; Fox had had the most titles with 10.[5]

Dunn added another title in December 2016: president of product strategy and consumer business development. Dunn turned over TCFHE in March 2017 to Keith Feldman taking over his older title, president of worldwide home entertainment. Feldman was previously president of worldwide home entertainment distribution, and, before that, president of international.[5]

20th Century Studios Home Entertainment (Disney acquisition since 2019)Edit

On December 14, 2017, the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney was proposed. After a Comcast bid and Disney counter bid approval was given. Disney took over most of 21st Century Fox on March 20, 2019.

On January 17, 2020, it was announced that the "Fox" name would be dropped from several of the Fox assets acquired by Disney, and the film unit would be renamed 20th Century Studios. However, the renaming of 20th Century Fox Television (became 20th Television), Fox 21 Television Studios (became the briefly revived Touchstone Television), 20th Century Fox Animation (became 20th Century Animation), Fox Television Animation (became 20th Television Animation), Fox Digital Studio (became 20th Digital Studio), Fox Star Studios (became Star Studios), Fox Studios Australia (became Disney Studios Australia), Fox Music (until 2020) and Fox Networks Group, was not made clear at the time.[19] However, Disney would later rename the label to 20th Century Studios Home Entertainment. The remains of Fox's home entertainment division have been absorbed into Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, which now uses the name solely as a label. Additionally, the mainline 20th Century Studios (in addition of Searchlight Pictures for their home media releases) now serves as the de-facto on-screen opener for 20th Century Studios Home Entertainment.



20th Century Studios Home Entertainment is used as the home video label for products released under the 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Animation, 20th Television, Searchlight Television, 20th Television Animation, and Touchstone Television, banners, alongside other owned material. It also distributes films for Annapurna Pictures, as part of a distribution pact which began on July 11, 2017.[20][21]

20th's best selling DVD titles are the various season box sets of The Simpsons.[22]

Distribution agreementsEdit


On July 26, 1993, Fox's Home video operations in France functioned as a joint-venture. Originally, the joint-venture was between Fox, Pathé and Le Studio Canal+, titled PFC Video (Pathé Fox Canal).[23] In January 2001, StudioCanal exited out of the venture to start distributing releases through Universal Pictures Video (and later self-distributing their releases), and EuropaCorp joined the joint-venture, which was renamed to Fox Pathé Europa.[24] The fate of the venture is currently unknown after the purchase of Fox from Disney, as Pathé currently self-distribute their home video releases.

Since 1996, Fox has also been the home video and digital distributor of Pathé's movies in the United Kingdom as well, after the latter acquired Guild Home Video that year. Fox released Guild products then-on, and also operated a rental joint-venture called Fox Guild Home Entertainment, which was later renamed to Fox Pathé Home Entertainment. This physical and digital agreement later briefly moved onto Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment before expiring on June 30, 2021, after Pathé signed a new partnership deal with Warner Bros. Entertainment UK.

Paramount GlobalEdit

In 2013, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment announced to partner with Paramount to form Fox-Paramount Home Entertainment in the Nordic market. In 2020, the company was shut down.


In 1999, after ending their worldwide deal with Warner Home Video, MGM sold their international home video rights to Fox, allowing the company to release MGM films outside of North America.[25][26]

In May 2003, MGM reinstated full distribution rights to their products in regions like Australia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, although Fox would continue to distribute for MGM in a majority of developing regions.[27]

In 2006, MGM signed a worldwide distribution deal with Fox, reinstating the rights internationally.[5] TCFHE and MGM renewed their home video distribution deal in 2011 and June 2016, and it expired on June 30, 2020,[25] with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment taking over afterwards. As of 2021, Studio Distribution Services, LLC., a joint venture between Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, distributes in North America, with releases alternating between the two companies.[28][29][30]

Entertainment OneEdit

After a prior home entertainment distribution arrangement for Australia and Spain, on February 24, 2016, Entertainment One (eOne) and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment signed a new multi-territory distribution agreement. The agreement called for a distribution joint venture in Canada. In the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Australia, Fox would manage eOne's existing home video distribution.[31]

On March 26, 2019, after the purchase of Fox by Disney, Entertainment One ended their deal with Fox and signed a multinational distribution deal with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment shortly after.[32]

Other US dealsEdit

In the United States, the company also distributed products from Relativity Media, Atlas Film Distribution, EuropaCorp U.S.A., Annapurna Pictures and Yari Film Group.

They also once served as the U.S. distributor for television and/or film products released by BBC Video until the North American distribution rights expired in 2000 and were transferred to Warner Home Video;[33] the BBC have self-distributed their own DVDs in the continent since 2017.

They served as distributor of Saban Entertainment's titles from its 1996 acquisition by Fox to the 2002 sale of the studio to Disney.[13]

In 2006, after closing their self-distribution unit, HIT Entertainment signed a home video deal with Fox. In 2008, HIT moved domestic distribution to Lionsgate Home Entertainment.[34]

In 2006, with the successful sales of DIC Entertainment's Strawberry Shortcake series in the US, Fox signed a home video deal with American Greetings in 2007, which also included the Care Bears and Sushi Pack franchises.[35] In 2009, AG moved distribution to Lionsgate Home Entertainment[36] with the exception of Strawberry Shortcake, which remained under Fox.

From 2006 until 2009, the company also had a distribution deal with DIC Entertainment for the Care Bears, Madeline, Inspector Gadget and Dennis the Menace shows.[37]

In 2008, WWE Studios inked a deal with 20th Century Fox, allowing it to distribute one theatrical title and four direct-to-video titles annually.[38]


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  13. ^ a b "Fox Could Catch Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" (PDF). Billboard. October 5, 1996. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
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  30. ^ "Operation Finale Blu-ray" – via www.blu-ray.com.
  31. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (February 24, 2016). "Fox Home, eOne Ink Multi-Territory Pact". Animation Magazine. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
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  33. ^ Warner Bros. (June 28, 2000). "BBC WORLDWIDE AMERICAS AND WARNER HOME VIDEO ANNOUNCE DISTRIBUTION DEAL". www.warnerbros.com.
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External linksEdit