Home video helps Lionsgate cut loss

Posts decline of $48.1 mil, compared with $58 mil in '07

TORONTO -- Lower theatrical marketing costs and strong home entertainment performance helped Lionsgate trim its second-quarter loss.

On Monday, Vancouver-based Lionsgate posted a loss of $48.1 million for the three months ending Sept. 30, or 41 cents per share, compared with a loss of $58 million in 2007.

Analysts surveyed before Monday's earnings report projected a quarterly loss of 15 cents-19 cents a share.

Lionsgate, which last week said it will trim 41 jobs in a bid to cut operating costs, reported second-quarter revenue of $380.7 million, up 8% from a year ago's $351.7 million. Higher home entertainment and TV revenue from its motion picture businesses helped offset a decline in theatrical revenue and TV production revenue.

Overall motion picture revenue came to $312.2 million, up 29% from $242.1 million in 2007. At the same time, theatrical revenue of $34 million was off 25% from a year-ago's $45.3 million as Lionsgate dealt with boxoffice duds "Bangkok Dangerous," "Disaster Movie" and "My Best Friend's Girl."

Lionsgate released "Saw V" and "Religulous" after the second quarter's close.

Home entertainment revenue continued on a tear, rising 32% to $178.3 million, up from $135.2 million in 2007. And TV revenue from the motion picture segment jumped 65% to $61.9 million.

On the downside, Lionsgate's international revenue dropped 8% to $28.5 million, while TV production revenue fell 38% to $68.5 million, owing to the timing of series deliveries.

The company's Mandate Pictures division, acquired in September 2007, contributed revenue of $21.2 million.

Lionsgate will hold a second-quarter analyst call this morning.