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Andrew James
Andrew James

Disney


In 1995, Disney announced the $19 billion acquisition of television network Capital Cities/ABC Inc., which at the time was the second-largest corporate takeover in U.S. history. Through the deal, Disney would obtain broadcast network ABC, an 80% majority stake in sports networks ESPN and ESPN 2, 50% in Lifetime Television, a majority stake of DIC Entertainment, and a 37.5% minority stake in A&E Television Networks.[244][249][250] Following the deal, the company started Radio Disney, a youth-focused radio program on ABC Radio Network, on November 18, 1996.[251][252] The Walt Disney Company launched its official website disney.com on February 22, 1996, mainly to promote its theme parks and merchandise.[253] On June 19 the same year, the company's next animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame was released, grossing $325 million at the box office.[254] Because Ovitz's management style was different from Eisner's, Ovitz was fired as the company's president in 1996.[255] Disney lost a $10.4 million lawsuit in September 1997 to Marsu B.V. over Disney's failure to produce as contracted 13 half-hour Marsupilami cartoon shows. Instead, Disney felt other internal "hot properties" deserved the company's attention.[256] Disney, which since 1996 had owned a 25% stake in World Series baseball team California Angels, bought out the team in 1998 for $110 million, renaming it Anaheim Angels and renovating their stadium for $100 million.[257][258] Hercules (1997) was released on June 13, and underperformed at the box office compared to earlier films, grossing $252 million.[259] On February 24, Disney and Pixar signed a ten-year contract to make five films together with Disney as the distributor. They would share the cost, profits, and logo credits, calling the films Disney-Pixar productions.[260] During the Disney Renaissance, film division Touchstone also saw success with film such as Pretty Woman (1990), which has the highest number of ticket sales in the U.S. for a romantic comedy and grossed $432 million;[261][262] Sister Act (1992), which was one of the more financially successful comedies of the early 1990s, grossing $231 million;[263] action film Con Air (1997), which grossed $224 million;[264] and the highest-grossing film of 1998 at $553 million Armageddon (1998).[265]




Disney

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