Lionsgate: Film Losses, TV Posts Gains

TBS' Tyler Perry's House of PayneLionsgate suffered alongside other TV/movie production in early 2009--a slowdown from its film and home entertainment divisions.

The company posted a $93.4 million net loss in its third-quarter 2009 fiscal period (ending Dec. 31, 2008) against a $7.3 million net profit in the third quarter of 2008. On the plus side, quarterly revenue did grow 8.4% to $324 million.

The studio noted that a big piece of its stable home entertainment business suffered as a result of softness in the preschool non-theatrical retail market--in particular, losses from its deal with Hit Entertainment, producer of preschool fare such as "Barney and Friends" and "Thomas the Tank Engine."

Lionsgate's home-entertainment revenue from all segments was $101.5 million, an 11% decline compared to $114.6 million in the prior period.



Overall motion-picture revenue, which included home entertainment and international sales, was $254.9 million for the quarter--a decrease of 2% from $261.0 million in the prior year's third quarter. Looking at theatrical alone, revenue grew 9% to $69.3 million.

Weak film performances and costs were associated with wide releases of "The Spirit," "Punisher: War Zone," and "Transporter 3." Better films included the studio's big theatrical franchise "Saw V" and Bill Maher's documentary "Religulous," which witnessed good results.

Quarter television deals for its TV series was $69.2 million, an increase of 82% from $38.0 million. Debmar-Mercury, its wholly owned television syndication unit, posted strong revenue gains from deals with Turner Broadcasting for "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" spinoff, "Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns," to air on TBS this summer and in syndication in fall 2010.

In addition, Lionsgate saw revenue growth from its second season of "Mad Men" on cable network AMC, "Crash" on cable network Starz and "Scream Queens" to VH1. Lionsgate says its television division is on pace to approach $250 million in revenues this year.

Earlier this year, Lionsgate announced that it was purchasing TV Guide Network and TV, for approximately $255 million.

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