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Paramount Quarterly Filmed Revenue Drops

15 Nov, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

Paramount parent Viacom posted a profit of $650 million for its fiscal fourth quarter (ended Sept. 30), a 12% jump over the same quarter in 2011, despite a 32% dip in home entertainment and an 83% drop in theatrical revenue.

The rough quarter for filmed entertainment won’t be a regular thing, said Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman during a conference call with investors, pointing to Paramount’s strong theatrical slate this quarter, which includes Paranormal Activity 4, Flight, Jack Reacher, The Guilt Trip, Not Fade Away and Rise of the Guardians.

“At the box office, Paramount Pictures will serve moviegoing audiences with a deep and diverse slate that will drive theatrical revenue through the year,” he said.

Rise of the Guardians will be the final DreamWorks Animation title Paramount will distribute. In August DreamWorks partnered with 20th Century Fox to take over home entertainment marketing and distribution responsibilities — in both domestic and international markets — for all animated features produced by DreamWorks Animation through 2017.

Paramount’s home entertainment revenue for the quarter fell to $345 million, on difficult box office power comparisons. During the fiscal fourth quarter of 2011, Paramount’s top home media releases were Rango, Thor and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. For the same quarter this year, the studio's top titles were The Dictator, Katy Perry: Part of Me and the 3D Blu-ray Disc release of Titanic.

Theatrical revenue for the quarter was down 83% to $131 million. Captain America: The First Avenger and Cowboys & Aliens (for which it had overseas distribution rights) helped carry Paramount's box office during its 2011 fourth quarter, but 2012's was reliant on Katy Perry: Part of Me.

Dauman noted that Viacom has recently inked a long-term distribution deal with DirecTV, entered into a deal to provide Epix films for the Amazon Prime subscription streaming service, renewed and expanded its agreement with Hulu, and made Viacom content available for download to own through Barnes & Noble’s Nook Video service.

However, Dauman said that while Viacom is making its content available via as many outlets as possible, tracking consumer usage is proving to be difficult.

“Content consumption across platforms is also growing rapidly and exceeding our ability to measure it by a greater margin than ever,” Dauman said during the call. “We know that our audiences are viewing more video in more places than ever, but lack of comprehensive measurement remains a significant roadblock to monetization.”

Viacom’s fourth-quarter revenue fell 17% to $3.36 billion, but a 12% jump in affiliate fees from cable and satellite providers helped offset lower revenue from theatrical and home entertainment.

“Our media networks drove value in the quarter and the year through steady growth in distribution revenues, and the production of new and engaging programming that connects with valuable audiences,” Dauman said.

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