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Marvel Profit Dips, But DVD Performs Well

4 Aug, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Marvel Entertainment posted a drop in profit for the quarter ended June 30, but it sure wasn’t due to DVD; the company reported its film production segment had operating income of $11.7 million for the quarter, compared to $2.2 million during the same quarter in 2008.

“DVD sales for [our] movies continue to perform in line with our expectations,” said Marvel CFO Ken West during an Aug. 4 call with investors. “Despite the economic news we hear about the DVD market crumbling a little bit, we have had excellent sellthrough, ahead of our plans.”

Marvel chairman David Maisel added that Marvel is working on a strategy with distribution partner Paramount on how to deal with Redbox, which in July signed a distribution agreement with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

“We’re watching that very closely, like the other studios,” he said.

For the Epix channel, the pay TV joint venture between MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount, Maisel said Marvel is “very pleased with revenues we’ll receive in the pay TV window,”
despite the channel’s rollout being slower than planned.

Marvel posted income of $29 million on sales of more than $116 million for the quarter. The profit for the comparable quarter of 2008 was $46.7 million on sales of nearly $157 million.

Executives pointed out the company is in a slow licensing period compared to the second quarter of 2008, when licensing associated with the Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk films was still running strong.

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