May 20, 2019
NEWS ANALYSIS — Lionsgate had a good weekend as it prepares to report fourth-quarter (ended March 31) fiscal results on May 23.
Shares rose nearly 15% May 17 after a media report surfaced that CBS two months ago offered Lionsgate $5 billion for Starz, the premium pay-TV platform that includes a branded subscription streaming video service with global appeal.
Lionsgate declined the bid for being too low (it wanted $5.5 billion), despite the fact the offer trumped the studio’s market capitalization.
Santa Monica, Calif.-based Lionsgate bought Starz for about $4.4 billion in 2016 – the transaction giving the studio/TV show creator viable over-the-top distribution (3 million+ subscribers), in addition to more than 25 million pay-TV subs.
Starz is also available in Canada through Bell Media, the Middle East (Starz Play Arabia) as well as via Amazon Channels in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Then on May 19 it was reported that the third installment of Lionsgate’s antihero John Wick franchise had unseated Disney’s superhero blockbuster Avengers: Endgame at the weekend domestic box office with $57 million in ticket sales.
With another $92.2 million in international ticket sales, John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum tracked more than $149 million in revenue.
The Keanu Reeves starrer as an ex-hitman relentlessly pursued by would-be evildoers, topped the 2014 original John Wick ($14.4 million) and sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2 at $30.4 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
The latest box office tally should prove fortuitous for home entertainment.
The first two installments generated almost $43 million in revenue from nearly 3 million combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc unit sales.
Indeed, John Wick: Chapter 2 was the 16th best-selling disc in 2017, according to The-Numbers.com.