Lionsgate Narrows Third Quarter Loss on Higher Revenue

Millenium Films
"The Expendables"

Mini-studio trims latest quarterly loss after ending a Mexican standoff with lead shareholder Carl Icahn, at least for now.

TORONTO -- DVD sales of The Expendables helped Lionsgate Entertainment narrow its third quarter loss, even as costs from waging a Mexican standoff with Carl Icahn continue to mount.

Vancouver-based Lionsgate on Wednesday reported a third-quarter loss of $6 million to Dec. 31, against a loss of $65.2 million in 2010.

Total revenue jumped 24% to $423 million on rises in home entertainment and international film and TV revenue, and slightly higher theatrical revenue.  

But Lionsgate’s bottom line was hit by non-cash equity interest losses of $13.1 million, including a $11.1 million loss from Lionsgate's interest in premium movie network Epix, and a $7.9 million charge to end Icahn’s proxy battle for control of the mini-studio, at least for now.

Third-quarter motion picture revenue rose 30% to $326.7 million. In the motion picture segment, theatrical revenue rose 9% to $53.8 million.

And Lionsgate's home entertainment revenue from motion pictures and TV came to $174.4 million, up 63% from 2010 levels, driven in large part by DVD sales of The Expendables.

TV revenue in the motion picture segment was off 9% to $49.7 million.

And international motion picture revenue rose 31% to $21.4 million, excluding Lionsgate U.K., with contributions from  Saw 3D, The Next Three Days and Alpha and Omega.

Lionsgate U.K. revenue grew 42% to $30 million during the latest quarter.

Mandate Pictures posted revenue falling 12% to $11.3 million on a smaller slate, Lionsgate reported.

TV sales revenue, a key driver for the company, rose 5% to $96.2 million. Domestic series licensing from Debmar-Mercury rose 52% from deliveries of  series like Tyler Perry's House of Payne and its spinoff Meet The Browns.

Domestic series licensing from Lionsgate Television fell 32% due to timing of deliveries, which included 12 episodes of Blue Mountain State Season 2 for Spike, nine episodes of Running Wilde for Fox and two episodes of Mad Men Season 4 for AMC.

Lionsgate senior management will hold an analyst call Thursday morning to discuss their latest financial results.