Lionsgate posts sharp Q2 loss

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TORONTO -- High theatrical marketing costs continue to take their toll on the bottom line at Lionsgate as the Canadian producer on Friday posted a sharply higher second quarter loss.

Vancouver-based Lionsgate reported a loss of $56.2 million for the three months to Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $14.4 million in 2006.

Second-quarter revenue reached a record $343.5 million, against a year-earlier $218.1 million.

But Lionsgate bled red ink after spending $122.5 million on theatrical marketing costs during the latest quarter to promote its film slate.

It was the same story in August when Lionsgate posted a first-quarter loss of $53.1 million, compared with a loss of $3.6 million in 2006, again due to an increase in theatrical marketing expenses.

"This was a very strong quarter for all of our businesses, most notably our theatrical business, whose positive contributions will be more fully reflected in future quarters," Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said Friday in a statement accompanying the latest results ahead of an analyst call on Monday.

Total expenses for Lionsgate during the latest quarter came to $398.3 million, compared with a year-earlier $230.3 million.

Overall motion picture revenue was $234.4 million. Broken down, theatrical revenue contributed $42.4 million from releases for "War," "3:10 to Yuma" and "Good Luck, Chuck," against $20.5 million in 2006.

Two additional titles, "Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?" and "Saw 4" were released theatrically after the close of the second quarter.

Lionsgate's home entertainment revenue came to $122.3 million, compared to $115.1 million last year, on the strength of DVD releases for "The Condemned" and "Delta Farce" during the latest quarter.

TV revenue was $37.3 million, against a year-earlier $33.4 million.

And the second quarter international revenue line was $31.1 million, compared with $17.1 million in 2006, while television production revenue came to $109.1 million, against a year-earlier $31.6 million.
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