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Warner Ups Q2 Home Video Revenue $17 Million

7 Aug, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Studio ups revenue 3% through the first six months of the year. Increased licensing of TV shows to SVOD driving revenue growth

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group Aug. 7 reported second-quarter (ended June 30) revenue of $665 million from theatrical and TV content, compared with revenue of $648 million during the previous-year period.

The home entertainment group, which includes Warner Home Video, contributed to Warner Bros. generating a 34% rise in operating income to $184 million.

Studio revenue increased 13% ($327 million) to $2.9 billion mainly due to a stronger theatrical release slate, which included Man of Steel, The Hangover Part III and The Great Gatsby, as well as an increase in international television syndication and subscription video-on-demand revenues.

Indeed, SVOD license revenue from Netflix, Amazon Prime and others topped $70 million in the quarter, and $150 million through the first half of the year.

"While the [home entertainment] industry was down slightly in the quarter, [Warner Bros.] grew modestly through the first half of 2013," CFO John Martin said in the fiscal call.

Martin, who is transitioning to become CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, said home entertainment must improve the consumer experience, including melding digital sellthrough (up 50% through June 30) with UltraViolet functionality.

"We think [digital] is a very positive sign for the future of the home entertainment business," Martin said.

Meanwhile, from its opening on June 14 through Aug. 4, Man of Steel has grossed more than $647 million worldwide at the box office. The Superman reboot is expected to generate another $100 million at the global box office. In addition, the superhero is slated to join DC compatriot Batman in a theatrical release in 2015, according to Warner.

The studio said recent release The Conjuring is expected to generate $130 million at the doemstic box office, ranking it among the top five horor films in history at theaters.

These gains were partially offset by a decline in domestic television licensing revenue due to the initial off-network availability of “The Mentalist” in the prior-year quarter.

Warner is one of the largest television program producers with 31 programs, including 13 new series on the U.S. broadcast networks’ primetime schedules for the 2013 to 2014 television season, marking the highest number of returning series for the studio in more than 30 years.

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