News Corp. Film Unit's Full-Year Operating Profit Drops Without 'Avatar'
NEW YORK - The film unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. experienced the expected post-Avatar down in its latest fiscal year.
After a record film operating profit of $1.35 billion in its previous fiscal year driven by the James Cameron film and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which together contributed more than half of film operating profit, the conglomerate on Wednesday reported a reduced bottom line for the studio division of $927 million in the latest year ended June 30.
The $422 million, or 31 percent, decline was slightly higher than management had forecast at the beginning of its just-ended fiscal year. Back then, it had predicted a drop in the mid-$300 million range.
Film revenue fell 9.6 percent from $7.63 billion to $6.90 billion.
The film division has over the past decade mostly been on an upward profit trajectory. It had brought in seven consecutive years of record operating profits in a row before ending that streak a couple of years ago, followed by the immediate bounceback to a new record thanks to Avatar last fiscal year.
Fiscal fourth-quarter profit at News Corp.'s film unit rose 53 percent to $210 million as the company cited the worldwide theatrical performance of Rio and the home entertainment results of Black Swan and The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader as key drivers.