The Zanuck Company

The Zanuck Company (formerly The Zanuck/Brown Company) is an American motion picture production company. It is responsible for such blockbusters as Jaws, The Sting, Cocoon, Driving Miss Daisy, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland.

The Zanuck Company
FormerlyThe Zanuck/Brown Company (1972-1988)
IndustryProduction company
FoundedJuly 10, 1972; 49 years ago (1972-07-10)
FoundersRichard D. Zanuck
David Brown
HeadquartersBeverly Hills, California
Key people
Dean Zanuck (CEO)
Lili Fini Zanuck (Vice President)
Rick Calabash (COO)
ProductsMotion Pictures, New Media
WebsiteOfficial website


The Zanuck/Brown CompanyEdit

In 1972, after a successful partnership at both 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown, left to form their own production company, The Zanuck/Brown Company.[1] Later that year, Zanuck/Brown signed a five-year production deal with Universal Pictures.[2]

In 1974, Zanuck/Brown produced The Sting, starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Robert Shaw. The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.[3]

In 1975, Zanuck/Brown produced Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss. The film, which won three Academy Awards, became the first summer blockbuster. It was number 1 at the box office for fourteen consecutive weeks and made history as the first motion picture to gross more than $100 million.[4]

In 1979, Lili Fini Zanuck joined the company and was instrumental in developing many of its future film projects.[5]

In 1980, The Zanuck/Brown Company moved to 20th Century-Fox[6] where it produced The Verdict, starring Paul Newman and James Mason, followed by Cocoon, directed by Ron Howard and starring Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy, Steve Guttenberg, Jessica Tandy, and Linda Harrison.[7]

The Zanuck CompanyEdit

In 1988, Richard Zanuck partnered with producer/financier Jerry Perenchio and rebranded as the The Zanuck Company.

In 1990, The Zanuck Company produced Warner Bros' Driving Miss Daisy, starring Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, and Dan Aykroyd.[8] The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.[9]

In 1994, The Zanuck Company produced Paramount's Deep Impact, starring Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, and Vanessa Redgrave.[10] Other hits followed such as DreamWorks' Road to Perdition, starring Paul Newman, Tom Hanks, and Daniel Craig, 20th Century Fox's Planet of the Apes, starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, and Helena Bonham Carter, and Columbia Pictures' Big Fish, starring Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, and Jessica Lange, the latter two films being directed by Tim Burton.[11][12]

In 2004, Dean Zanuck formed Zanuck Independent to produce independent films. Productions under the division include Sony Picture Classics' Get Low, starring Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Bill Murray, and the sci-fi fantasy, The Zero Theorem, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Christoph Waltz, Matt Damon, and Tilda Swinton.[13][14][15]

Other productions by The Zanuck Company are Warner Bros' Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dark Shadows, and Alice in Wonderland, all of which were directed by Tim Burton and star Johnny Depp.[16]

In 2010, Alice in Wonderland became the first motion picture from The Zanuck Company to exceed $1 billion at the box office.[17]

In 2015, Dean Zanuck formed Zanuck Family Entertainment to produce family oriented motion pictures and multi-platform content. Disney veteran Rick Calabash was made head of the new division.[18][19]


Theatrical filmsEdit


Release date Title Director Distributor Notes Budget Box office (worldwide)
July 18, 1973 Sssssss Bernard L. Kowalski Universal Pictures first film $1.03 million $1 million
December 19, 1973 Willie Dynamite Gilbert Moses N/A
December 25, 1973 The Sting George Roy Hill winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture; co-production with Bill/Phillips Productions $5.5 million $159.6 million
March 30, 1974 The Sugarland Express Steven Spielberg $3 million $12 million
May 17, 1974 The Black Windmill Don Siegel co-production with Siegel Films $1.5 million N/A
August 16, 1974 The Girl from Petrovka Robert Ellis Miller N/A
May 21, 1975 The Eiger Sanction Clint Eastwood co-production with The Malpaso Company $9 million $14.2 million
June 20, 1975 Jaws Steven Spielberg $472 million
July 15, 1977 MacArthur Joseph Sargent $16.3 million
June 16, 1978 Jaws 2 Jeannot Szwarc $30 million $208 million


Release date Title Director Distributor Notes Budget Box office (worldwide)
June 13, 1980 The Island Michael Ritchie Universal Pictures $22 million $15.7 million
December 18, 1981 Neighbors John G. Avildsen Columbia Pictures $8.5 million $29.9 million
December 8, 1982 The Verdict Sidney Lumet 20th Century Fox $16 million $54 million
June 21, 1985 Cocoon Ron Howard $17.5 million $85.3 million
November 8, 1985 Target Arthur Penn Warner Bros. co-production with CBS Theatrical Films $12.9 million $9.02 million
November 23, 1988 Cocoon: The Return Daniel Petrie 20th Century Fox last film released under the Zanuck-Brown name $17.5 million $25 million
December 15, 1989 Driving Miss Daisy Bruce Beresford Warner Bros. first film released under the name of The Zanuck Company; winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture $7.5 million $145.8 million


Release date Title Director Distributor Notes Budget Box office (worldwide)
December 22, 1991 Rush Lili Fini Zanuck MGM/UA Distribution Co. co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $17 million $7.2 million
October 29, 1992 Rich in Love Bruce Beresford $18 million $2.2 million
May 6, 1994 Clean Slate Mick Jackson N/A $7.4 million
December 1, 1995 Wild Bill Walter Hill co-production with United Artists $30 million $2.1 million
April 26, 1996 Mulholland Falls Lee Tamahori co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Largo Entertainment $29 million $11.5 million
August 2, 1996 Chain Reaction Andrew Davis 20th Century Fox co-production with Chicago Pacific Entertainment $50 million $60.2 million
May 8, 1998 Deep Impact Mimi Leder Paramount Pictures (North America)
DreamWorks Pictures (International)
co-production with The Manhattan Project $80 million $349.5 million
March 19, 1999 True Crime Clint Eastwood Warner Bros. co-production with Malpaso Productions $55 million $16.6 million


Release date Title Director Distributor Notes Budget Box office (worldwide)
April 7, 2000 Rules of Engagement William Friedkin Paramount Pictures co-production with Scott Rudin Productions and Seven Arts Pictures $60 million $71.7 million
July 27, 2001 Planet of the Apes Tim Burton 20th Century Fox $100 million $362.2 million
July 12, 2002 Reign of Fire Rob Bowman Buena Vista Pictures co-production with Touchstone Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment $60 million $82.2 million
Road to Perdition Sam Mendes DreamWorks Pictures (North America)
20th Century Fox (International)
$80 million $181 million
December 10, 2003 Big Fish Tim Burton Sony Pictures Releasing co-production with Columbia Pictures and The Jinks/Cohen Company $70 million $123.2 million
July 15, 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Warner Bros. Pictures co-production with Plan B Entertainment and Village Roadshow Pictures $150 million $475 million
December 21, 2007 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Paramount Pictures (North America)
Warner Bros. Pictures (International)
co-production with DreamWorks Pictures and Parkes/MacDonald Productions $50 million $153.4 million
December 19, 2008 Yes Man Peyton Reed Warner Bros. Pictures co-production with Village Roadshow Pictures and Heyday Films $70 million $223.2 million


Release date Title Director Distributor Notes Budget Box office (worldwide)
March 5, 2010 Alice in Wonderland Tim Burton Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures co-production with Walt Disney Pictures, Roth Films and Team Todd $150–200 million $1.025 billion
April 2, 2010 Clash of the Titans Louis Leterrier Warner Bros. Pictures co-production with Legendary Pictures and Thunder Road Pictures $125 million $493.2 million
May 11, 2012 Dark Shadows Tim Burton co-production with Village Roadshow Pictures, Infinitum Nihil and GK Films $150 million $245.5 million
May 30, 2014 Maleficent Robert Stromberg Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures co-production with Walt Disney Pictures and Roth Films $180–263 million $758.5 million
September 15, 2015 Hidden The Duffer Brothers Warner Bros. Pictures uncredited; co-production with Vertigo Entertainment N/A $310,273

Television films/pilotsEdit

Release date Title Director Network Notes
July 9, 1987 Barrington Richard Compton CBS as The Zanuck/Brown Company; co-production with New World Television
August 21, 1992 Driving Miss Daisy Will Mackenzie co-production with Warner Bros. Television
2004 Dead Lawyers Paris Barclay Sci-Fi co-production with Sony Pictures Television
May 16, 2015 Bessie Dee Rees HBO co-production with HBO Films and Flavor Unit Entertainment


  1. ^ "Zanuck Leaves Warner To Form Own Concern". The New York Times. 1972-07-10. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  2. ^ "Zanuck, Brown to join Universal on Monday". The Los Angeles Times. 1972-08-04.
  3. ^ Martin, Douglas (2012-07-13). "Richard Zanuck, Producer of Blockbusters, Dies at 77". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  4. ^ ""Jaws" released in theaters". HISTORY. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  5. ^ Mathews, Jack (1990-03-09). "Zanuck Co. Signs 'First Look' Deal With Paramount Pictures". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  6. ^ Scherger, Charles (1980-04-09). "Lyrical New Highway to Hollywood". The Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ McLellan, Dennis (2010-02-02). "Producer of 'Jaws,' 'The Sting,' 'Cocoon'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  8. ^ Easton, Nina J. (1988-12-13). "Zanuck, Wife Forming Film Development Company". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  9. ^ Reinhold, Robert (1990-03-27). "'Driving Miss Daisy' Wins 4 Oscars, Including One for Jessica Tandy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  10. ^ Collins, Keith (2005-07-13). "Milestones". Variety. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Harris, Dana (2004-08-03). "Zanuck goes it alone". Variety. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Tim Burton On Dick Zanuck's Passing". Deadline. 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  17. ^ Bettinger, Brendan (2010-05-27). "Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND Becomes the Sixth Film Ever to Surpass $1 Billion Worldwide". Collider. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  18. ^
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External linksEdit