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In a surprise development, Disney is closing down the Fox 2000 label that has been headed by Elizabeth Gabler and her team under the larger Fox umbrella.
Although it was originally expected that the label, which has specialized in mid-budget films, many of which had particular appeal to female moviegoers, would find a home at Disney once its $71.3 billion acquisition of most of the assets of the former 21st Century Fox was complete, that is not to be the case, sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
It was not immediately clear what will happen to Gabler herself and her team going forward, since they have not received individual pink slips themselves.
But with the acquisition, Disney is doubling the number of film labels it juggles, and once it decided to keep 20th Century Fox and the specialty film unit Fox Searchlight, there apparently was no room for Fox 2000.
Gabler’s unit, created in 1999, has been home to such films as Walk the Line; The Devil Wears Prada; Hidden Figures; Love, Simon; and The Hate U Give.
Disney does expect to complete production and then release the unit’s upcoming films, such as the dog-centric The Art of Racing in the Rain, starring Kevin Costner, which has been scheduled for Sept. 27, and the thriller The Woman in the Window, starring Amy Adams and Gary Oldman, which has had an Oct. 4 release date. Older Fox 2000 titles will become part of the Disney catalog.
There was one omen, though, that Fox 2000’s days were numbered. On Monday night, Gabler hosted a Fox farewell party in the Fox 2000 bungalow that attracted about 200 guest from across the lot, as well as some Fox alumni, including former Fox Filmed Entertainment co-CEO Tom Rothman, who now heads Sony’s Motion Picture Group.
Elsewhere on the Fox lot Thursday, top executives throughout Fox’s marketing and distribution ranks — among them, president of worldwide marketing Pam Levine, president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson and international distribution president Andrew Cripps — were given their notices.
Disney closed its historic takeover of the Fox film and TV studio, FX and National Geographic cable channels, Star India, 30 percent of Hulu and more just after midnight ET on Wednesday. Disney said prior to the close that it was eying $2 billion in annual cost saving by 2021, and observers presumed much of that would come by way of layoffs.
Pamela McClintock contributed to this story.
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