Home Entertainment Drives Lionsgate Q2 Motion Picture Revenue

Strong second-quarter (ended Sept. 30) sales of catalog titles, including recently acquired third-party libraries, contributed to the Lionsgate home entertainment unit driving a 28.5% increase in motion picture segment revenue to $330.9 million, from $257.5 million in the previous-year period. Operating profit increased 22.7% to $101.8 million, from $83 million a year ago.

The motion picture group consists of the development and production of feature films, acquisition of North American and worldwide distribution rights, North American theatrical, home entertainment and television distribution of feature films produced and acquired, and worldwide licensing of distribution rights to feature films produced and acquired.

Revenue from Lionsgate’s 17,000-title film and television library totaled a record $784 million for the trailing 12 months. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based studio/distributor completed the acquisition of the 200-title Spyglass Media Group library in the quarter.

Specifically, Lionsgate generated $31.2 million from the sale of DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles, down 8% from $33.9 million in revenue during the previous-year period. Digital retail revenue neared $130 million, compared with $116 million a year earlier.

That said, physical and digital retail media revenue dwarfed theatrical, which totaled just $16 million in the quarter.

Through six months of the fiscal year, packaged-media revenue tops $65 million, down about 11% from $75.3 million a year ago. Digital transactions reached $242 million, which was down slightly from $243.9 million last year.

“Our motion picture group added to an already robust pipeline with the production starts of nine new films,” CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement. “[We had] another solid financial quarter with strong content generation across our business.”

‘1917’ Tops Disc Sales; ‘My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising’ Repeats as No. 1 Blu-ray

The relative lack of new impactful DVD and Blu-ray releases combined with stores transitioning into the holiday shopping season yielded a catalog free-for-all on the national disc sales charts the week ended Nov. 7.

The first week after Halloween saw most of the spooky favorites that dominated the charts the previous two months fade away, while a selection of Christmas favorites are beginning to surge again due to clearance promotions and not much in the way of new competition to keep catalog fare in general from taking over.

The week’s top title on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, was Universal Pictures’ 1917, the Award-winning World War I drama first released on disc in March. It had been No. 24 a week earlier. It marks the film’s second time in the top spot, which it previously occupied upon its debut 32 weeks ago just as the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns were beginning.

On the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart, however, 1917 was No. 3, rising eight spots from the previous week. The top Blu-ray for a second-consecutive week was Funimation’s anime movie My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, which was No. 3 on the overall disc chart. The film is one of the few recent releases on the chart, and its ability to rise above the fray on the Blu-ray battlefield is likely due to the fact that it was released only as a Blu-ray combo pack (with a DVD and digital copy).

Also making a huge jump during the week was Warner’s Joker, to No. 2 on both charts. The previous week it was No. 58 overall.

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The week’s top new release, at No. 4 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray Disc chart, was Liongate’s Antebellum, the horror film about a modern-day black woman who finds herself transported back in time to pre-Civil War slavery days where she must confront the racist attitudes of the time. Just 47% of its overall sales came from the Blu-ray Disc format, but 12% of its total was from the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version (translating to more than 25% of its Blu-ray sales).

Rounding out the top five overall disc sellers was Warner’s Birds of Prey, which jumped up from No. 95 a week earlier. It was No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.

Lionsgate’s Knives Out was the No. 5 Blu-ray seller, No. 9 on the overall disc chart.

Among the Christmas favorites to return to the fold were Warner’s A Charlie Brown Christmas at No. 11 overall, DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls Holiday at No. 15, Universal’s 2018 animated movie The Grinch at No. 18 (up from 169 the week before), Warner’s Elf at No. 24, and Warner’s The Polar Express at No. 30.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Nov. 8, Antebellum debuted at No. 1, followed by Redbox’s An Imperfect Murder at No. 2.

The previous week’s top rental, Lionsgate’s Friendsgiving, dropped to No. 3, while not cracking the top 50 sales charts in either of its two weeks on shelves.

Rounding out the top five were Paramount’s The Vanished and Redbox’s Ava.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 11-7-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 11-8-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 11-7-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 11-7-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 11-7-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 11-9-20