Paramount Home Entertainment Revenue Tops Theatrical as Movie Biz Returns to Profitability

Thank goodness for the sales and rentals of movies and TV shows.

ViacomCBS Feb. 20 reported that Paramount Home Entertainment generated revenue of $623 million in 2019, which was up almost 1% from revenue of $617 million in 2018. That was an increase of nearly 14% from theatrical revenue of $547 million.

Paramount’s top-selling packaged-media release in 2019 was Bumblebee, which was No. 14 overall according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

Box office sales dropped 26.5% from $744 million, which when combined with home entertainment, licensing and other revenue pushed total revenue to $2.99 billion — an increase of 1.1% from $2.95 billion in 2018.

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Fourth-quarter revenue was impacted by current year slate performance and the number and mix of film titles compared with the prior year.

Indeed, Viacom chose to focus on the 2020 film slate, which includes Sonic the Hedgehog ($116 million in worldwide box office in its opening weekend), holding the record for the best debut of a film based on a video game.

Pending releases include The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, A Quiet Place Part II and Top Gun: Maverick coming in the fiscal second quarter.

Home entertainment revenue in the fourth quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2019) dropped 13% to $155 million from $178 million.

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Content licensing revenue rose 5%, reflecting higher revenues from licensing library and original production to third parties.

At the bottom line, Paramount Pictures generated an $80 million operating profit — a turnaround from an operating loss of $33 million in 2018.

Underscoring consumer migration toward streaming video and digital transactions, domestic streaming and digital video business — which includes subscription revenue and digital video advertising — generated approximately $1.6 billion in revenue.


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