Lionsgate’s Silent Workhorse: Home Entertainment

NEWS ANALYSIS — To hear Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer on the recent fiscal call, the studio/distributor is pushing aggressively into the over-the-top video market via Starz and positioning itself as a major supplier of original television content.

While the longtime executive gave a shoutout to home entertainment for generating a record $600 million in catalog revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, Feltheimer didn’t elaborate further on DVD/Blu-ray Disc and digital movies’ outsized impact on the company’s motion picture segment revenue — other than to mention Lionsgate’s penchant for “creating and owning iconic IP with tremendous evergreen value.”

Indeed, Lionsgate sold about $257 million in packaged-media product in the fiscal year, down about $500,000 from 2019. Disc sales of major feature movies increased nearly 43% to $154.8 million from $108.4 million in the previous-year period.

Packaged media/digital movies represented 42.2% of the motion picture segment’s $1.67 billion revenue for the year — twice the percentage of theatrical, according to Lionsgate’s 10K fiscal filing released May 27.  The tally is up 14.1% from revenue of $1.46 billion in fiscal 2019. The motion picture group represented 43% of Lionsgate’s consolidated revenue for FY 2020.

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Lionsgate packaged-media releases are distributed in North America by Disney-owned 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, and by Lionsgate U.K. internationally.

Lionsgate said it shipped 45 million combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc units in fiscal 2020, ranking sixth among all studios. In the 2019 calendar year, the studio held 9% market share in home entertainment, including a box office-to-home entertainment conversion rate 25% above the industry average.

Box office-to-home entertainment conversion rate is calculated as the ratio of the total of both first cycle DVD release revenue and total digital platform revenue for a theatrical release compared to the total North American revenue from such theatrical release.

Top-selling discs in the fiscal year included theatrical releases Cold Pursuit, Tyler Perry’s Madea Family Funeral, Rambo: Last Blood and Midway.

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