Studio Legends: Fox

12:05 AM PST 12/16/2010 by Gregg Kilday
Marc Royce

Peter Chernin, Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos | Photographed by Marc Royce on Dec. 7 on the Fox lot in Century City

No studio has weathered the booms and busts of showbiz quite like Fox. Following one down cycle, it sold much of its backlot to the developers of Century City, and after the 1969 flop Hello, Dolly! remnants of that set lingered for years. “When I got here in 1989, nothing had been painted for years; nobody had spent any money,” says Peter Chernin, now 59, who held a number of posts at Fox and parent News Corp. before exiting last year to found Chernin Entertainment. Adds Tom Rothman, 54, who heads Fox Filmed Entertainment with co-chairman Jim Gianopulos, 58, “The thing all three of us can take some pride in is that since we’ve been here, Fox has had the greatest stability it’s had over its entire history.” Although current management can be notoriously frugal, it has seen fit to support a filmmaker like James Cameron, who has returned the favor with the two biggest movies ever made: Titanic and Avatar. And though their animated TV stalwart The Simpsons continually tweaks their corporate owners, Rothman adds, “We’re custodians for a long line of history, and we try to do right by that history.”           

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