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Wizards Boost Profits at AOLTW

23 Apr, 2003 By: Joan Villa

AOL Time Warner's worldwide DVD revenues rose 97 percent to $658 million in the first quarter ended March 31 from the year-ago quarter, helping to pull the media giant into the black. The studio reported it ranked No. 1 during the quarter in the U.S. in combined DVD and VHS sales and rentals, capturing 21 percent and 18.5 percent market share, respectively.

New Line's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with $900 million in worldwide box office to date, is the fifth top-grossing picture of all time, and Warner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, at $866 worldwide box office, is the seventh highest grossing, the company reported.

As a result, filmed entertainment revenues climbed 11 percent for the quarter to $2.36 billion.

The studio credited higher home video sales for driving content revenue up 134 percent in the networks division, mostly due to the releases of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and other HBO programming.

Overall, AOL Time Warner boosted revenues 6 percent to $10 billion and picked up EBITDA (earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortization) 14 percent to $2 billion, despite ongoing declines in advertising and other revenues.

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