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Lack of 'Potter' Hurts Time Warner Quarter

2 May, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Time Warner Inc. is likely counting the days until to the theatrical and DVD releases of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Time Warner May 2 cited the lack of a “Potter” release for contributing to a 1% decline ($36 million) to $2.7 billion in filmed entertainment revenue for the first quarter 2007, ended March 31.

The latest Potter release in the lucrative franchise is slated for release theatrically July 13.

The media giant said worldwide DVD sales of Happy Feet, Oscar winner The Departed and Blood Diamond failed to compare with last year's releases of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and New Line Home Entertainment's Wedding Crashers.

Worldwide DVD sales of Feet, Departed and Diamond fell almost 8% below last year's combined units sales of Goblet of Fire and Wedding Crashers, according to VideoScan data.

Time Warner said the DVD declines were offset in part by the strong theatrical performance of Frank Miller's 300, which has earned about $431 million at the global box office, and increased license fees from worldwide TV distribution.

For the quarter, TW net income fell almost 15% to $1.2 billion from $1.5 billion last year. Revenues increased 9.2% to $11.2 billion from $10.2 billion.

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