Fox Searchlight ScreenshotThis month it is the turn of a film distributor to have their website reviewed. One of the first distributors who come to mind is of course Fox, so this the site being looked at.

The home page is divided into two – Cinema Releases and On DVD, each highlighting two films (a current and future release). This information gives you a summary of the film, a link to watch the trailer and a link to a product page (this is a page with a lot more detail of the film, with stars and director). What is strange is that there isn’t a link to the individual websites. E.g. Night at the Museum has it’s own site at (, but the Fox Site doesn’t link to it. Things are worse for films which haven’t been released yet (e.g. The Simpsons Movie) where the product page has no content, even though there is an entire website relating to the movie already available online.

At the top of the screen is a news link, however, there are only three stories of which at least two are out of date (one dates from 2005 and the other no longer exists). There is an option called ‘mobile’ but the content on the page just appears to be trailers again, so there is no explanation of what it is for – the URL links to a folder ‘wireless’ which makes even less sense. The ‘Downloads’ section is very disappointing with one screensaver and one wallpaper for two films which were released years ago.

Links at the bottom of the screen repeat many of the top menu options, although there are an additional few. There is a link to Fox Searchlight, which gives a few lines of history before giving a link to the website.

Under the DVD & Video section there is an option to browse the catalogue which is useful, although there is very little extra information for the films, than there are when they are cinema releases.

Navigation of the site is straightforward, and easy enough to read in text only format and all the trailers are in Flash 9 format. As a site its design is pleasant to the eye, the biggest issue I have is that there is a lack of information on the site.

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Download Times:

Connection Rate Download Time
14.4K 83.45 seconds
28.8K 41.93 seconds
33.6K 35.99 seconds
56K 21.76 seconds
ISDN 128K 6.94 seconds
T1 1.44Mbps 0.97 seconds

Navigation: *****
Good Design: ****
Updates: ***
Content ***
Download Speed: ***
Overall: **

Overall: This site has real potential, but the slow download time combined with simple content, such as links to the main film websites let the site down – I would rather use IMDB.

Testing Information: This site is tested using a laptop at 1024 x 768 resolution running Windows XP, Firefox Version 20.0.1 and Internet Explorer 7 over a 8Mb Broadband connection. For the text only test Lynx on a Linux Server is used. A website entitled is used to test the web site to calculate the download speeds.