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Lionsgate Projects Up to $50 Million Pre-tax Q2 Loss

26 Sep, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Theatrical box office underperformance and upfront costs on new releases come as minimajor attempts to sell investor Carl Icahn’s stake

Lionsgate Sept. 26 disclosed in a regulatory filing that it could post a pre-tax loss from $40 million to $50 million when its second quarter ends Sept. 30.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based minimajor’s revelation is based in part on box office results from Conan the Barbarian; the just-released, critically-acclaimed mixed martial arts film Warrior; and thriller Abduction, starring Twilight heartthrob Taylor Lautner.

Conan, a reboot from the original franchise, has generated less than $22 million at the box office on a budget of more than $90 million. Warrior, released Sept. 9, has generated $12.2 million on a budget of $25 million; and Abduction has sold about $11 million in tickets on a budget of $35 million since its Sept. 23 release.

Lionsgate's top-grossing titles year-to-date include The Lincoln Lawyer, which has generated $58 million domestically on a budget of $40 million; and Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family with $53.3 million at the box office.

Lionsgate disclosed the probable loss in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission accompanying a prospectus to sell more than 19 million common shares once owned by maverick investor Carl Icahn.

Icahn, until he agreed to sell his entire 34% stake (33.4 million shares) in Lionsgate last month, was the studio’s largest individual investor – a position he used as a bully pulpit to threaten management and engage in a protracted and ultimately unsuccessful takeover attempt.

Lionsgate posted net income of $12.2 million in the first quarter ended June 30.

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