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Associated Film Distribution
(officially known as Associated Film Distribution, Inc.) was founded in 1978 by British film producers (and siblings) Lew Grade from ITC Entertainment Group and Bernard Delfont from EMI Films, to release films produced by both studios in the United States and Canada. Prior to the formation of AFD, ITC-produced films were released by United Artists, Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation in the United States and Canada. ITC also had their own international film distribution unit, ITC Film Distributors Ltd., to release their films internationally. EMI-produced films were released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and United Artists in the United States and Canada prior to the formation of AFD. EMI was also a partner in the international film distribution company, Columbia-EMI-Warner Distributors, with Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, to distribute their films internationally. In 1980, AFD suffered financial losses from the films Can't Stop the Music, Raise the Titanic and Saturn 3. Universal Studios would purchase the distribution rights to all AFD films that were still in production at the time, while films that had their production complete would be released by AFD. Currently, most ITC-produced films are owned by ITV, with home media rights licensed to Shout! Factory, while most EMI-produced films are owned by StudioCanal, with home media rights licensed to Lionsgate Home Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment. Walt Disney Pictures owns the rights to The Muppet Movie (an ITC-produced film) due to their purchase of The Muppets franchise from The Jim Henson Company.

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