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Lions Gate posts net loss in second quarter due to higher film marketing costs

November 9, 2010 |  2:07 pm

Increased movie marketing costs badly dinged Lions Gate Entertainment's fiscal second-quarter earnings.

While revenue increased 25% to $456.3 million in the period ended Sept. 30, the movie and television studio reported a net loss of $29.7 million that was largely attributed to a nearly $60-million jump in theatrical marketing costs for the four films it released in the quarter.

Of that quartet, "The Expendables," starring and directed by Sylvester Stallone, was by far the biggest hit, with U.S. ticket sales of $102 million; "The Last Exorcism,” which took in $41 million, is profitable for Lions Gate given its $500,000 investment to acquire the movie; the 3-D animated feature “Alpha and Omega” was a so-so performer at best; and the thriller "Buried" was dead on arrival, grossing a total of $1 million domestically.

Overall, motion picture revenue was $341 million, up 23% from the second quarter a year ago, while home entertainment revenue from both film and television was down 5% to $132.1 million.

The studio currently has two films in release, “Saw 3-D,” which has taken in about $38.3 million since its debut two weeks ago, and Tyler Perry’s female drama “For Colored Girls,” starring Janet Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg, which debuted with $19.5 million last weekend and is generating high interest among women over 25. The results from those movies will be counted in the fiscal third quarter.

On the TV side, Lions Gate had better news. Production revenue was up 30% to $115.3 million, with TV licensing revenue up by 60%.

-- Claudia Eller