'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Boosts Lionsgate Quarterly Earnings

VANCOUVER – Lionsgate on Thursday posted sharply higher third-quarter earnings on the strength of the global release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire., which grossed $860 million at the worldwide box office.

The mini-studio saw earnings rise to $88.8 million for the three months to Dec. 31, 2013, compared to a profit of $37.8 million in the same period of 2012. Lionsgate also posted record revenues of $839.9 million, up 13 percent from a year-earlier $743.6 million.

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The next two films in the lucrative YA franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, will be released worldwide on Nov. 21, 2014, and Nov. 20, 2015, respectively.

Strong international theatrical releases for Red 2, Now You See Me and Escape Plan, as well as surging library revenue, also drove results in the quarter.

Lionsgate's filmed entertainment library generated $148.6 million in revenue, up 10 percent year-over-year, and overall motion picture segment revenue rose 12 percent to $757.6 million.

Within the motion picture segment, theatrical revenue jumped 44 percent to a quarterly record $277.6 million.

That offset Lionsgate's home entertainment revenue from motion pictures and TV falling to $200.7 million during the third quarter due to a smaller number of wide releases.

TV revenue in the motion picture segment rose 7 percent to $105.8 million on titles like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Warm Bodies, Sinister, Snitch and Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.

And international motion picture segment revenue, excluding Lionsgate U.K., came to $117.1 million, up from a year-earlier $89.5 million.

Lionsgate U.K. posted record quarterly revenue at $55.9 million, up 53 percent from the prior year.

Elsewhere, revenue in the TV production segment rose 17 percent to $82.3 million, as domestic and international TV posted gains that offset falling home entertainment revenue from TV production.

Lionsgate will hold an analyst call on Friday morning to discuss its latest financial results.

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