Warner Posts Uptick in 2019 Home Entertainment, Video Game Revenue

Warner Bros. Jan. 29 said fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2019) revenue for video games and related home entertainment product increased 0.2% to $565 million, from $564 million in the previous-year period. For the fiscal year, revenue ballooned 84.6% to $2 billion, from $1 billion in 2018.

The studio consists of the production, distribution and licensing of television programming and feature films, the distribution of home entertainment products and the production and distribution of games.

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Top-selling home entertainment titles included Aquaman and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Indeed, Aquaman was the No. 2 selling disc in 2019 behind Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, according to the VideoScan tracking service.

Television revenue in Q4 increased 8.5% to $1.98 billion, from $1.82 billion. For the year, revenue skyrocketed 75.8% to $6.4 billion, from $3.6 billion in 2018.

Despite the critical and box office success of Joker, quarterly theatrical revenue fell 24.7% to $1.6 billion from $2 billion. For the year, box office increased 49% to $5.9 billion from $4 billion in 2018.


‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Debuts at No. 1 on Disc Sales Charts

Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended March 16.

The sequel to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the second entry in a series that serves as a prequel to the “Harry Potter” films. However, its $159.6 million at the domestic box office ranks as the lowest of the 10 movies in J.K. Rowling’s “Wizarding World” franchise.

Coming in at a distant No. 2 on both charts was Universal Pictures’ Mortal Engines, a sci-fi adventure produced by Peter Jackson based on a book series about a steampunk future in which the world’s cities have been turned into large wandering vehicles. It sold about 20% as many copies as Grindelwald, after a $16 million haul at U.S. theaters.

No. 3 on both charts was Disney’s animated Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Warner’s Creed II slipped to No. 4 overall and No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart.

Best Picture Oscar winner Green Book, from Universal, debuted at No. 5 on the overall chart and No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.

Blu-ray Disc formats comprised 67% of Grindelwald‘s first-week sales, with 11% specifically from the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. Mortal Engines had 66% of sales from Blu-ray, with 14% from the UHD version. For Green Book, Blu-ray contributed 52% to its total unit sales, with 7% from UHD.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended March 17, Grindelwald came in at No. 1 , with Green Book at No. 2.

The previous week’s top rental, Paramount’s Instant Family, dropped to No. 3, followed by Mortal Engines at No. 4 and Warner’s A Star is Born remake at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 3-16-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 3-17-19
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 3-16-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 3-16-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 3-16-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 3-18-19


Merchandising: Options for ‘Grindelwald’

Best Buy ‘Grindelwald’ Steelbook

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald arrived March 12 with several retailer exclusive purchasing options.

Best Buy ‘Grindelwald’ 3D Blu-ray

Best Buy had two exclusives. One was a Steelbook of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack, for $34.99. The other was a 3D combo pack that includes a 3D Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray, DVD and digital code, for $29.99.

A version of the 3D combo pack available through Warner Archive and Walmart omits the DVD. Amazon’s version of the 3D combo pack is just the 3D disc and digital copy.

The digital codes provide access to an extended cut of the film that runs seven minutes longer than the theatrical version.

Walmart’s ‘Grindelwald’ Blu-ray with keychain

Walmart offered the Blu-ray combo pack with a pack-in Baby Niffler Funko Pocket Pop! Keychain for $29.96.

Target’s ‘Grindelwald’ digibook

Target had versions of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray ($34.99) and Blu-ray ($29.99) combo packs with a 64-page digibook and collectible packaging.

Best Buy is touting preorders for the new-in-theaters Captain Marvel, with a $34.99 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook.

Best Buy ‘Captain Marvel’ Steelbook

Warner Bros.’ Record Box Office Drives WarnerMedia’s Banner 2018

Spurred by Warner Bros.’ record $5.5 billion global box office, WarnerMedia generated more than $9.2 billion in revenue in 2018 — up nearly 7% from revenue of $8.6 billion when the company operated as Time Warner prior to the closing of AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition.

The media company comprising Warner Bros., HBO, Turner and Otter Media, posted Q4 operating income of $2.7 billion; and $5.69 billion for the year.

The company said it generated $564 million in fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2018) revenue from the sales of video games and home entertainment, which was down nearly 15% from revenue of $682 million in the previous-year period. For the year, revenue dropped nearly 45% to $1.08 billion from $1.93 billion in 2017.

Sales of packaged media and digital from movies and TV shows topped $1.56 billion and $416 million, respectively, in the previous-year quarter under Time Warner. WarnerMedia does not breakout home video revenue.

In 2018, Warner Bros. theatrical revenue was driven led by Ready Player One and the fourth-quarter releases Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Aquaman, the latter grossing nearly $1.1 billion at the global box office to date.

Warner Q4 revenue topped $4.5 billion and included revenue of $2.1 billion from theatrical product, $1.8 billion from television product and $564 million from video games and home entertainment. Operating expenses totaled $3.7 billion, and the operating income margin was 18.1%.

HBO revenue in the quarter reached $1.7 billion and included $1.4 billion of subscription and $259 million of content and other revenue. Operating expenses totaled $1.1 billion and the operating income margin was 37.2%.

Turner Q4 revenue reached $3.2 billion, compared to $107 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Revenue during the quarter included $1.8 billion of subscription revenue, $1.1 billion of advertising and $219 million of content and other revenues. Operating expenses totaled $1.9 billion, compared to $59 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Turner’s operating income margin was 40.2% compared to 44.9% in the year-ago quarter.

The increases were predominantly due to the June 2018 acquisition of Time Warner.