Lions Gate predicts loss from 'Abduction,' 'Warrior' and 'Conan'
With its three latest releases -- "Conan the Barbarian," "Warrior" and "Abduction" -- performing poorly at the box office, Lions Gate says it expects to lose between $40 million and $50 million in the current quarter.
The warning came in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday alerting potential buyers of 22 million shares it is selling on behalf of dissident investor Carl Icahn, who last month agreed to end his ownership in the Santa Monica studio.
The company said its loss for the quarter ending Sept. 30 -- before subtracting interest, taxes and depreciation of assets -- would be $40 million to $50 million. Lions Gate hadn't previously estimated results for the quarter, but decided to do so now, with Vice Chairman Michael Burns going on an investor road show this week to sell the Icahn shares.
The company won't report actual results for the quarter until November.
Lions Gate had already expected the performance of its motion picture group to be soft in the current period. But all of the movies ended up doing worse than anticipated.
The action remake "Conan" opened in August to a weak $10 million and is finishing its box office run at $21 million. The well-reviewed drama "Warrior" launched in September to a very poor $5.2 million and is struggling to get to $15 million.
Last weekend, the Taylor Lautner thriller "Abduction," which the studio hoped would kick off a new franchise led by the "Twilight" star, debuted to a soft $11.2 million. But because it outperformed "Warrior" and the studio had less at stake on the movie financially than it did with "Conan," "Abduction" will probably do a bit better for Lions Gate than the other two films. However, all three pictures are expected to lose money for the studio, providing a poor kickoff to a high-profile film slate led by next March's adaptation of the best-selling book "Hunger Games."
Investors seemed unsurprised by the disclosure, as Lions Gate stock was up a fraction at $7.03 in mid-day trading Monday. Icahn's shares are being offered at $7 each.
-- Ben Fritz
Photo: Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins in "Abduction." Credit: Bruce Talamon / Lionsgate