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Universal Relatively Un-Challenged by Past Success

26 Jan, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel



Just 13 months ago Universal Pictures was the fastest studio to reach $1 billion at the box office (165 days) on hits such as Jurassic World, Furious 7 and Minions, among others. Fast-forward to the end of the fourth quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2016), and the studio has been usurped by Walt Disney Studios (128 days).

While unfavorable year-over-year fiscal comparisons resulted in a 36% drop in home entertainment revenue, when factoring in the aforementioned titles, including Trainwreck, with Straight Outta Compton, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s top-selling disc in 2016, the current year still looks promising. 

Theatrical revenue increased 96.7%, primarily due to the strong performance of Sing, which has generated $430 million at the global office since its Dec. 21, 2016 release. Other revenue increased 55.5%, primarily driven by DreamWorks Animation.

The revenue bump included a full quarter of revenue from DreamWorks Animation, which was acquired Aug. 22, 2016. Content licensing revenue increased 37.5%, due to the inclusion of DWA, as well as the timing of when content was made available under licensing agreements.

The studio reported a 15.3% decline in operating cash flow to $121 million compared to $143 million in the previous-year period. Revenue increased 12.6% to $1.8 billion from $1.6 billion last year.

As previously reported, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment finished 2016 as the top studio in the United Kingdom, taking 20.2% market share, in addition to 18.5% in sales, according to the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE). The studio had 38 releases with unit sales of at least 100,000 each in the third-largest global home entertainment market.

Through Jan. 22, Universal holds a slim lead over Disney at the domestic box office with $136.6 million in revenue, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.


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