Lionsgate Home Entertainment Drives Record $600 million FY Catalog Revenue

Strong home entertainment sales of DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital catalog titles helped Lionsgate report record $600 million in catalog revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31.

The studio also saw strong retail sales from new releases Midway and Knives Out, the No. 6 and No. 10 top-selling movies in 2020, respectively, according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

The motion picture segment reported $393 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, up nearly 10% from $358 million in revenue during the previous-year period. For the year, revenue topped $1.67 billion, a 14% increase from revenue of $1.46 billion in the previous fiscal-year period. Segment profit was $101 million.

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The only new theatrical release in the quarter, I Still Believe, was in theaters for only four days before exhibitors ceased operations due to the coronavirus. Lionsgate pivoted quickly to launch the title in the $19.99 premium video-on-demand window to mitigate lost theatrical revenue.

Television production segment revenue was $258 million and segment profit was $22 million driven in part by strong library sales.

“We reported a strong quarter to end a solid fiscal year despite the disruption posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic,” CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement.

‘Paramount Presents’ Label Launches to Celebrate Studio Library on Blu-ray, in Theaters

Paramount Pictures will introduce a new “Paramount Presents” label to recognize and celebrate films from the studio’s library on Blu-ray and in theaters.

The “Paramount Presents” banner will be used for a new line of Blu-ray Discs “incorporating a curated selection of enduringly popular movies, as well as films that had a cultural impact upon their release,” according to a Paramount press release. The label will also be used to bring classic films to select theaters for limited theatrical runs so audiences can experience them again on the big screen.

“Paramount’s library represents over a century of filmmaking and includes some of the greatest films in cinematic history,” Bob Buchi, president of worldwide home media distribution at Paramount Pictures, said in a statement. “We look forward to opening the vault and sharing some of our most treasured films with fans under the new ‘Paramount Presents’ banner, both in theaters and in our new Blu-ray collection, which has been crafted to offer something special to casual fans, dedicated film enthusiasts and collectors.”

The “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray Discs will include a diverse and eclectic array of films spanning all genres, according to the studio. The new collection will return each title to the spotlight with meticulously remastered releases that include new bonus content focused on the filmmakers. The discs will be presented in collectible packaging that includes a foldout image of the original movie poster and interior artwork featuring key movie moments. Each Blu-ray in the line will feature new interviews with filmmakers and/or film historian Leonard Maltin.

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“Movies have the power to hold a mirror up to the world. Sometimes they make us think about big issues and sometimes they simply reflect the times in which they were made,” said Maltin in a statement. “The ‘Paramount Presents’ banner encompasses a wide array of films that are worth revisiting because they captured something unique that resonated with audiences. Whether you’re watching them for the first time or the hundredth, you will see why these films have stood the test of time.”

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The first three films in the “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray line will be Fatal Attraction, which has been remastered under the supervision of director Adrian Lyne; 1958’s acclaimed Elvis Presley drama King Creole; and director Alfred Hitchcock’s romantic thriller To Catch A Thief, which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year. All three titles will be available beginning April 21. Fatal Attraction will also have a limited theatrical release in 2020 (details to be announced at a later date).

Additional titles scheduled to be released as part of the “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray line include newly remastered editions of FlashdanceAirplane! and Ghost, as well as several titles arriving on Blu-ray for the first time ever, including Pretty in Pink and The Golden Child.

Mill Creek Launches Low-Cost Transactional Digital Service movieSpree

Independent home entertainment distributor Mill Creek Entertainment has launched low-cost transactional purchase streaming service movieSpree.

The service’s app is now available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android devices, and movieSpree has no long-term contracts, subscription fees or advertisements.

Offering more than 2,500 hours of entertainment, movieSpree features catalog film and TV bundles, genre-based collections and specially curated compilations, including such titles as Lonesome Dove, The 10th Kingdom, “The Kids in the Hall,” “Documentary Now!,” Benji and Gone in 60 Seconds.

Purchase prices range from 99 cents to $29.99 depending on content. For instance, the entire “Kids in the Hall” series is available for $14.99.

All users of the new service will receive an offer to redeem 100 free movies to be added to their library.

“The establishment of movieSpree is an important growth opportunity for us,” said Patrick McDonough, EVP of sales and marketing for Mill Creek, in a statement. “As the content distribution model shifts to a direct-to-consumer strategy, building our own streaming service allows us to connect to our customers and showcase our entertainment offerings in a meaningful and targeted way.”

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Many of Mill Creek Entertainment’s DVD and Blu-ray releases include digital redemption offers allowing consumers to add to their movieSpree library, according to the company.

Content can be streamed from the movieSpree apps and website using a phone, tablet, laptop or supported OTT devices. The service also features exclusive content and offers that do not have a DVD or Blu-ray counterpart or availability on other streaming platforms, according to Mill Creek.

Mill Creek collaborated with OTT content distribution provider ViewLift on the new service.

“The ViewLift team is thrilled to partner with Mill Creek Entertainment to launch movieSpree,” said ViewLift president Manik Bambha in a statement. “Our alliance showcases the robust features and functionality of a backend system developed by the ViewLift team. ViewLift’s monetization and distribution expertise launched movieSpree, which will help cinephiles watch movies they love and introduce new viewers to great films.”

Paramount Releasing Movie Star DVD Collections

Paramount Home Media Distribution Feb. 5 will release Audrey Hepburn 7-Movie DVD Collection, Paul Newman 6-Movie DVD Collection and Mark Wahlberg 5-Film DVD Collection.

The Audrey Hepburn collection includes Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady, Funny Face, Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Paris When It Sizzles and War and Peace.

The Paul Newman collection includes Hud, Road to Perdition, Fat Man and Little Boy, Nobody’s Fool, A New Kind of Love and Twilight.

The Mark Wahlberg collection includes Shooter, Pain & Gain, The Fighter, The Italian Job and The Gambler.

The collections are priced around $23 each.