During a studio head roundtable hosted by TheHollywoodReporter, Disney’s Alan Horn has revealed that they plan on giving most (if not all) Fox Searchlight movies theatrical releases.

Seemingly disputing theories that Searchlight projects could be funneled to a streaming service like Hulu (Disney has a controlling interest).

He also reiterates the prestige of the studio shingle earning multiple Best Picture Academy Awards, something that Disney doesn’t get (outside of Best Animated Feature).

HORN: “We still have Fox Searchlight, which both of these gentlemen [Rothman and Gianopulos] know a lot about. They have won four out of the last 10 [best picture] Academy Awards. And we are backing them 100 percent because they make terrific movies with very renowned filmmakers with great casts.”

THR: But not all of the Searchlight movies will get theatrical releases, right?

HORN: “Oh, I think they will, yeah.”

Many had incorrectly assumed that once Disney purchased 21st Century Fox they would shutter both 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight, which never made a lot of sense given the hefty price tag of $71.3 billion for an entertainment company to throw away profitable/valuable film companies after spending lots of money on them.

Horn has previously talked about the potential of these companies reaching audiences they didn’t previously have and 20th Century Fox being able to release movies that Disney can’t without getting letter-writing campaigns.

Some of Searchlight’s in-house projects on the horizon to go into production include Guillermo del Toro’s thriller Nightmare Alley and Taika Waitit’s sports flick Next Goal Wins.

Courting untapped mature audiences like Disney did back when they were making movies like Starship Troopers, The Rock, Kill Bill, Clerks, Scream, and Con Air (via Disney-owned Touchstone/Dimension/Miramax), seems to be the overall plan here.

The most recent releases include Taika’s Jojo Rabbit and Noah Hawley’s Lucy In The Sky.


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