RLJ Entertainment Narrows Q1 Loss, Ups Revenue

AMC Networks subsidiary RLJ Entertainment May 1 recorded first-quarter (ended March 31) operating loss of $3 million, which was 51% less than the $6.1 million net loss from the previous-year period when the home entertainment distributor was a separate company. Revenue increased 19% to $22 million from $18.5 million last year.

Last Halloween, AMC acquired majority ownership of RLJE, making Robert L. Johnson’s namesake company a privately-owned subsidiary of AMC, with a 17% minority stake held by Johnson.

In addition to packaged media and digital distribution, AMC sought RLJE’s over-the-top video services — Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel, which collectively have almost 1 million subscribers, and majority interest in Agatha Christie Limited.

Agatha Christie Limited generated operating income of $2 million.

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AMC’s other branded OTT ventures include Sundance Now and Shudder, which together with RLJE, AMC Networks International, IFC Films and production services company Levity Entertainment Group, generated an operating loss of $14 million on revenue of $171 million.

That compared to an operating loss of $17 million on revenue of $111.7 million during the previous-year period.

Overall, the network behind “The Walking Dead” and “Killing Eve,” reported net income of $143 million on revenue of $784 million. That compared to income of $157 million and revenue of $741 million last year.

“With our focused, well-priced and desirable collection of [business] assets, we occupy a differentiated space in the media landscape,” CEO Josh Sapan said in a statement.

AMC recently greenlit a third “Walking Dead” original series. “Fear the Walking Dead,” just began its fifth season. Launch date for 10th season of ‘The Walking Dead” hasn’t been announced.

Acorn TV Launching ‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’ Movie, Spin-Off Series

Acorn TV Feb. 12 announced it will be the North American partner/distributor for new feature movie, Miss Fisher and The Crypt of Tears, starring Essie Davis (“The Babadook,” “Game of Thrones”), who spearheaded the title character in the acclaimed 2012-15 Australian TV series.

The SVOD service, which is majority owned by AMC Networks, released all three seasons on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, including the Series 1-3 Collection.

Acorn is also launching a spin-off series set in the 1960s titled “Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries,” and starring Geraldine Hakewill (Wanted).

Geraldine Hakewell

The service will premiere the film and original series in North America later this year online and in select theaters.

“After first introducing U.S. audiences to the fashionable Miss Phryne Fisher in 2013, Acorn TV is thrilled to work … on her highly anticipated cinematic film, as well as introduce audiences to her equally fashionable and entertaining niece Peregrine Fisher,” Don Klees, VP of programming for the Acorn brands at RLJ Entertainment, said in a statement.

Miss Fisher and The Crypt of Tears continues the story of “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.” Davis returns in the five-time Logie-nominated role that made her a worldwide star.

Set in the late 1920s, The Crypt of Tears follows Fisher on a Middle Eastern adventure in search of an ancient treasure. The film features several series regulars, including Nathan Page as Detective Inspector Jack Robinson, Miriam Margolyes as Aunt Prudence and Ashleigh Cummings as her loyal assistant and maid Dorothy ‘Dot’ Collins.