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Home Entertainment a 'Lone Survivor' for Universal

22 Jul, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Universal Studios reported a 15% decline in second-quarter (ended June 30) revenue to nearly $1.8 billion, compared with the previous-year period. The decline reflected an industywide trend of releasing fewer theatrical titles.

However, the studio, which includes Universal Studios Home Entertainment, accomplished more with less on the bottom line. Operating cash flow increased 490% to $195 million — a trend that follows through the first half of the year with studio operating income up 373% to $483 million.

In the quarter, principal profit drivers included higher content-licensing revenue (i.e. subscription streaming, etc.), as well as higher home entertainment revenue from the strong performances of Ride Along and Lone Survivor.

Parent Comcast didn’t disclose home entertainment specifics; suffice to say the two titles delivered both at physical and digital retail. In fact, Lone Survivor, the Afghan war drama starring Mark Wahlberg, debuted at No. 1 in sales at the end of its first retail week (June 3), with Blu-ray Disc accounting for 54% of its packaged-media sales, according to Home Media Magazine.

The title, which is based on actual events and people, took in $125 million at the box office.

Ride Along, the buddy cop adult comedy starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, bowed at No. 2 during its week of retail release (April 15). A sequel is currently being filmed in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 

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