Background: Searchlight Pictures was formed in 1992 under News Corporation (and now owned by The Walt Disney Company) as a division of 20th Century Studios (previously 20th Century Fox Film Corporation) for independent, arthouse, foreign, horror, and African-American film releases. In January 2020, Disney announced that it would remove "Fox" from the company's name, renaming it to "Searchlight Pictures", along with 20th Century Studios. However, the studio is still legally incorporated and traded as Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Fox Searchlight Pictures
0st Logo (1992-1994)
1st Logo (1995-1996)
Logo: On a black background, there is a white vertical line on the middle-left which protrudes to the bottom to the middle. On the right of the line is "FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES".
Music/Sounds: Just the soundtrack of the trailer.
Availability: Ultra rare. Seen after the 1994 20th Century Fox logo on the trailer for The Brothers McMullen.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (1996-1997)
Nicknames: "Searchlights", "Still Searchlights", "Fox Structure", "Still Fox Structure", "Fox Searchlight Pictures Structure"
Logo: It's the still version of the 1994 20th Century Fox logo, except "20th CENTURY FOX" is replaced with "FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES", with "SEARCHLIGHT" in the middle larger, and with "FOX" above and "PICTURES" below, respectively. The News Corporation byline is still intact, but the registered symbol was removed.
Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the movie/trailer.
Availability: Rare. Seen on trailers for very early Fox Searchlight Pictures releases. However, the only films with that logo are Girl 6, She's the One, Looking for Richard, and The Secret Agent. Current prints of She's the One and Looking for Richard have the next logo or the 1994 20th Century Fox logo plastering it, though it survives on Girl 6 with the 1994 logo preceding it. The logo wasn't seen at all on The Brothers McMullen and Stealing Beauty.
Editor's Note: Since that logo lasted for a short time, it's probably a placeholder.
3rd Logo (1997-2011)
Nicknames: "CGI City Skyline Searchlights", "The Searchlights II", "Fox Structure II", "Fox Searchlight Pictures Structure II"
Logo: We start out looking at a city skyline (most likely that of Los Angeles) at night. The camera begins to move right, past a searchlight. The searchlight turns on, followed by two more searchlights in the background turning on. We then reach the middle of the Fox "stack" structure, but instead of seeing a narrow "CENTURY", we see a large "SEARCHLIGHT". The camera pulls back and reveals "FOX" above, and "PICTURES" below. After the Fox Searchlight Pictures logo is finished zooming out, the byline "A NEWS CORPORATION COMPANY" fades in (on pre-2013 releases), then the rightmost searchlight moves towards us, filling the screen with light, then we fade out.
- On some films, the News Corporation byline is slightly smaller. Primarily, that is used for movies with a wider aspect ratio, but on some movies, such as Slums of Beverly Hills, The Impostors, 20 Dates, Boys Don't Cry and Dreaming of Joseph Lees, it is used on the regular 16:9 version of the logo, while some wider films, such as Titus and Sexy Beast, use the regular byline instead.
- A bylineless version exists, but is used for corporate purposes and has yet to be used on any post-2013 movie as a throwback variation.
- An open matte version exists.
FX/SFX: The movement of the camera.
Music/Sounds: Few seconds of silence, as the searchlight turns on, the 1994 20th Century Fox fanfare plays. Later replaced in 1999 with the 1997 20th Century Fox fanfare.
- On some films like 28 Days Later and Slumdog Millionaire, there's a low-toned version of the 1997 20th Century Fox fanfare.
- The Darjeeling Limited uses the short version of the 1997 20th Century Fox fanfare.
- On I Heart Huckabees, after the light covers the screen, the opening voiceover begins.
Availability: Common. It's seen on indie, art-house, and foreign movie releases distributed by Fox from that era. The logo premiered on Blood and Wine and made its final theatrical appearance on Cedar Rapids (though the trailers for said film use the next logo instead). Notable films to use that logo are Smilla's Sense of Snow, Paradise Road, The Full Monty, The Ice Storm, Oscar and Lucinda, Glitter (2001), Two Girls and a Guy, Slums of Beverly Hills, Cousin Bette, Polish Wedding, The Impostors, Waking Ned Devine, Among Giants, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Best Laid Plans, Whiteboyz, Boys Don't Cry, Titus, Woman on Top, Bootmen, Quills, Kingdom Come, Sexy Beast, The Deep End, Antwone Fisher, 28 Days Later, In America, Sideways, Millions, Separate Lies, Roll Bounce, The Ringer, Little Miss Sunshine, Sunshine, Slumdog Millionaire, and among others. The logo wasn't seen at all on 28 Weeks Later. However, the only films that had the logo are Margaret, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Scary Movie, plastering the Miramax logo.
Editor's Note: Same as the 1994 20th Century Fox logo.
4th Logo (2011-2019)
Nicknames: "CGI City Skyline Searchlights III", "Enhanced City Skyline Searchlights", "The Searchlights III", "Fox Structure III", "Fox Searchlight Pictures Structure III"
Logo: That's a redone and more realistic version of the last 1997 Fox Searchlight Pictures logo, based on the Fox Searchlight Pictures structure of the 2009 20th Century Fox logo. That time, it is in a dark/orange evening environment. There are newer and more realistic textures added to the Fox Searchlight Pictures structure, we can see palm trees at the bottom at the start and near the right at the end, and it's more obvious at the end that the searchlight is pointing at us when it fills the screen with light and we fade out.
Trivia: That logo is based on the 2009 TCF logo designed by Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha and was animated at Blue Sky Studios.
- There are variants where the structure is seen in an extreme close-up (ala cropped from scope into 1.78:1) or shown at a far distance in the entire 16:9 frame.
- There's a 4:3 variant seen on some TV spots as well as full screen prints of many films from 2012 onward, starting with Sound of My Voice.
- Starting with the release of Enough Said on September 20, 2013, the News Corporation byline is excluded and the logo is bylineless for the first time ever. That is mainly due to the split of News Corporation on June 28, 2013.
- On the trailer for Tolkien, after the screen is filled with light, it fades to a dark grey background with a silver rectangle. The object has a large "25" on the left with "YEARS" inside the "5" on in the first quarter on the left, and in the other three quarters is the print logo, minus the searchlights. That variant was used for the studio's 25th anniversary in 2019, and was also seen on Ready or Not, Lucy in the Sky, Jojo Rabbit and A Hidden Life.
FX/SFX: Very nice CGI.
Music/Sounds: The 1997 20th Century Fox fanfare, or silence.
Availability: First seen on the trailers for The Tree of Life, Cedar Rapids and later trailers for Win Win. It first appeared on the film Win Win. The last film to use that logo with the News Corporation byline was The Way Way Back, released on July 5, 2013. The last film to use that logo was A Hidden Life.
Editor's Note: It's a suitable successor to the previous logo.
Nicknames: "CGI City Skyline Searchlights IV", "Enhanced City Skyline Searchlights IV", "Searchlight Pictures Structure"
Logo: Nearly the same as the final 2011 Fox Searchlight Pictures logo, except the word "FOX" is removed from the top of the structure, and the words are slightly taller and bigger. The Los Angeles cityscape and mountains in the background are more realistic and bigger with greater depth, and the sky backdrop is much different. Also, the News Corporation byline and the registered symbol are removed. The searchlight fills the screen with light and we fade out.
FX/SFX: Still very nice CGI from Blue Sky Studios, that time in collaboration with MOCEAN.
Music/Sounds: The 1997 20th Century Fox fanfare, same as the last logo.
- On some films, the 1994 20th Century Fox fanfare is heard.
- On some movies, the 1954 CinemaScope extension of the 20th Century Fox fanfare is heard.
Availability: First seen on "For Your Consideration" spots for Jojo Rabbit, and premiered on Downhill. Also appears as a de-facto home video logo on current Searchlight Pictures home media releases.
Editor's Note: Like the 20th Century Studios logo, it may take some time to get used to, but it is still an excellent logo.