Gaumont's Revenue Jumps on the Strength of New Television Division
PARIS – Hemlock Grove and Hannibal have boosted the bottom line for French mini-major Gaumont, with the studio’s revenue up 57 percent through the third quarter, which it attributed to the strength of its new L.A.-based TV production arm. Revenues totaled $170.2 million (€123.6 million) through Sept. 30, up from $108 million (€78.5 million) in the same period last year.
Gaumont International Television (GIT) brought in $78.6 million (€57.1 million) for the group. Its Netflix and NBC hits propped up the historic studio, which saw its film section stumble slightly. Film division revenues were down to $87.4 million (€63.5 million) from $101.3 million (€73.6 million) year-over-year, tracking with a steep 21 percent decline in the French home video market.
International film sales were also slightly down, to $33 million (€24 million) from $38 million (€27.6 million) through the same period in 2012, when the company was still riding on the incredible international strength of 2011’s The Intouchables, the feel-good film that broke box-office and home video sales records in France and for a French film abroad. This year the studio has released two international English-language films, Naomi Watts and Robin Wright drama Perfect Mothers and the highly anticipated Cannes entry Only God Forgives from director Nicolas Winding Refn and star Ryan Gosling, which turned out to be a critical and box-office disappointment.
The company, run by Nicolas Seydoux, is releasing five films in the last quarter of 2013, including The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet. The family film has so far underperformed in France, with only 230,000 tickets sold in the opening week on regular and Imax screens, which will be included in the fourth-quarter results.
Gaumont noted that television production will be “very dynamic” through the end of the year, with five shows scheduled to be delivered to French television networks, including Calimero, the first venture from its newly acquired animation studio. The second seasons of Hannibal and Hemlock Grove are currently in production.