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Lionsgate: 'Very Strong' Consumer Response to 'Divergent'

7 Aug, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Lionsgate Aug. 7 said initial consumer response to new teen franchise Divergent was very strong for packaged media, transactional VOD and electronic sellthrough. It didn’t disclose any unit data. The title, which grossed $275 million at the global box office, was released at retail Aug. 5, and two weeks earlier on select digital platforms.

The response would seem in line for Lionsgate, which has had stellar results selling The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games franchises at retail.

Meanwhile, you can’t make more money if you have less to sell. That’s what Lionsgate disclosed when it reported first-quarter (ended June 30) home entertainment revenue of $140.9 million, which was down about 17% from revenue of $169.4 million during the previous-year period.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based mini-major attributed the decline in part to the fact it released just two wide-release theatricals at retail compared with five theatrical titles in the previous-year period.

The company said total revenue topped $449 million, compared with more than $569 million in the prior year quarter, due largely to only two wide theatrical releases in the quarter compared with three wide releases, including box office sleeper Now You See Me, in the prior-year quarter. Lower television production revenue reflected fewer deliveries of “Mad Men,” whose seventh and final season has been split into two parts.

Regardless, Lionsgate said net income increased 218% to $43.3 million, compared with $13.6 million last year.

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