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Fox Books ‘First Class’ Ticket to ‘Rio’ With Financials

2 Nov, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel


Strong home entertainment revenue from animated movie ‘Rio’ and ‘X-Men: First Class’ contribute to 24% surge in operating income for 20th Century Fox Studios

20th Century Fox Studios Nov. 2 reported first-quarter (ended Sept. 30) operating income of $347 million, up 24% from operating income of $280 million during the previous-year period.

The studio, which includes 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, said strong theatrical results for Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which has generated more than $450 million in worldwide box office receipts since its June 3 launch), coupled with home entertainment revenue from animated feature film Rio and superhero movie X-Men: First Class, contributed to generate nearly $1.8 billion in revenue, compared with $1.5 billion last year.

Prior year first-quarter film results included the theatrical release of Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps and the worldwide home entertainment sales of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

Fox said Rio generated the highest ever retail sales for an August home entertainment release and is on schedule to sell 9 million units worldwide.

“We see a stabilizing home entertainment environment,” Chase Carey, president and COO of News Corp., said in a call with analysts. “Our hope hads been that Blu-ray would continue to grow and that digital would continue to grow.”

Cary said the decision to pull Hulu from the auction block and add content was a good one. Hulu is co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal and News Corp.

“The decsion to put our inventory is the right one, consumers accept it as way of getting a broader epxerience,” he said. “It had been a positive for us.”

When asked if Fox would reconsider Redbox as a distribution channel following its decsion to raise the daily rate for DVD rentals, Carey demurred.

He said it is difficult to get excited about $1 or $1.20 in revenue for a kiosk transaction, adding that Fox remains determined to develop windows that make sure “our product is fairly valued.”

Fox is owned and operated by News Corp.

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