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DreamWorks Boosts Viacom Q2

10 Aug, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

Viacom's first full quarter of ownership of DreamWorks Entertainment invigorated the company's Paramount Pictures segment.

“The full integration of DreamWorks contributed to increasing progress at Paramount,” said Viacom CEO Tom Freston.

Home entertainment revenue increased 2% to $402.7 million in the second quarter of this year, with $41.7 attributed to third-party revenue from distributing DreamWorks Animation and live-action library titles. Theatrical revenue was up by $168.7 million for the quarter thanks to the company's new distribution of DreamWorks Animation title Over the Hedge, which Paramount will also distribute on home video.

The quarter was dragged down slightly on the domestic front by slower video sales of Failure to Launch and Aeon Flux, compared to last year's Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and Coach Carter. Internationally, Aeon Flux and Get Rich or Die Tryin' video sales couldn't match 2005's revenue from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and Team America on video.

Operating income for the overall entertainment segment — which includes home video, theatrical and TV license fees — increased $29.4 million compared to pro forma 2005, before Viacom split into two separate companies.

For the overall company, the quarter was strong. Revenue increased 24% to $2.85 billion. Operating income was up 14% over pro forma $663.2.

Digital revenue stood at $51 million for the quarter. Multi-platform digital initiatives are “of primary importance and integral to everything we do,” Freston said.

Viacom and its cable subsidiaries such as MTV Networks will continue to negotiate digital initiatives that generate sales revenue and ad dollars, he said.

The company's recent deal to release ad-supported clips of MTV Networks content via Google Video will help promote sales of Viacom digital content across portals, Freston said.

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