Lionsgate CEO Touts Transactional VOD17 Oct, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
In addition to teen theatrical hits The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games, Lionsgate continues to mine significant revenue from home entertainment, which increasingly includes digital distribution, CEO Jon Feltheimer told an industry group.
Speaking Oct. 16 at the 2012 Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing Summit in Orlando, Feltheimer spoke about the Richard Gere drama, Arbitrage, which he said has earned $6 million in transactional video-on-demand revenue at the same it has generated $6.6 million at the box office since its Sept. 14 release.
Lionsgate generated home entertainment revenue from both motion pictures and television programming of $145.5 million in its most recent fiscal period — driven by five major DVD and digital releases.
Feltheimer said internal research found that consumers opting to rent a digital movie via a multichannel video distributor (cable, satellite or telco) are separate from conventional moviegoers. Indeed, he said 90% of Arbitrage’s theatrical customers did not know the movie was also available via their cable provider starting at $4.95.
Santa Monica. Calif.-based Lionsgate employed similar concurrent release strategies for Margin Call, starring Kevin Spacey and Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto, and Abduction, starring the “Twilight” franchise’s Taylor Lautner.
"[Arbitrage’s] on-demand revenue that would have been unimaginable for a specialty film just a few years ago," Feltheimer said.
The CEO stressed that studios and distributors need to work together — and not as adversaries — navigating the rapidly evolving digital landscape. He said transactional VOD — a distribution channel that has been around for more than 20 years — continues to be challenged by confusing user interfaces.
Feltheimer cited the underperformance of recent VOD release, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, as an example of a title that consumers likely missed scrolling down a VOD selection listed in alphabet order.
“You can have premium content, but it's no good if the viewer can't find it,” Feltheimer said.