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Disney is an American entertainment company known for its iconic film and television holdings, as well as its international theme parks, toys, and characters. In 2016, Disney became the first movie studio to ever cross the $7 billion mark at the box office, proving the prescience and savvy of CEO Bob Iger's strategy of growing the Disney empire by acquiring companies like Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel. Films from those companies—Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Star Wars: Rogue One—led Disney to box office gold. Disney has consistently made interesting creative decisions, like hiring indie director Gareth Edwards to direct Rogue One, and tapping Jon Favreau to reimagine The Jungle Book, another high grosser. Meanwhile, Disney Animation continued its winning streak with the original titles Zootopia and Moana. Characters from these films are fueling the Disney machine as it expands ever further: The $5.5 billion Disney Shanghai resort opened in 2016, paving the way for the Disney brand to grow in China. Like all media companies, Disney is struggling with slowing growth at its cable brands, namely ESPN, but it is finding innovative ways to help draw young, male viewers back into the fold. In 2016, it invested an additional $400 million (to its original $200 million) in Vice, whose programming will be shared with ESPN across digital, mobile, and TV.

50 Most Innovative Companies 2017


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