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.

‘Frozen II’ Tops Redbox Disc Rentals; ‘Knives Out’ Remains Atop On Demand List

Disney’s Frozen II took over the No. 1 spot on the Redbox kiosk disc rental chart the week ended March 8. The Redbox disc rental chart tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks.

The animated sequel had debuted a week earlier at No. 2 on the rental chart.

The previous week’s top disc rental, Lionsgate’s Knives Out, slipped to No. 2 on that chart, but did remain at No. 1 on the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals.

Lionsgate’s war drama Midway stayed at No. 3 on the disc chart and slid to No. 5 on the digital chart.

The week’s top new-release on Redbox’s charts was Universal’s Queen & Slim, which was No. 4 on the disc chart and No. 3 on the digital chart.

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Another new release, Universal’s Dark Waters, debuted at No. 2 on the digital chart and No. 8 on the disc chart.

Fox’s racing drama Ford v Ferrari stayed at No. 5 on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental and dropped to No. 4 on the On Demand chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 8:

  1. Frozen II — Disney
  2. Knives Out — Lionsgate
  3. Midway (2019) — Lionsgate
  4. Queen & Slim — Universal
  5. Ford v Ferrari — Fox
  6. 21 Bridges — Universal
  7. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood — Sony Pictures
  8. Dark Waters — Universal
  9. Playing With Fire — Paramount
  10. Joker — Warner

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 8:

  1. Knives Out — Lionsgate
  2. Dark Waters — Universal
  3. Queen & Slim — Universal
  4. Ford v Ferrari — Fox
  5. Midway (2019) — Lionsgate
  6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood — Sony Pictures
  7. 21 Bridges — Universal
  8. Zombieland: Double Tap — Sony Pictures
  9. Joker — Warner
  10. Playing With Fire — Paramount

 

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‘Frozen II’ Dominates Disc Sales

The Disney animated hit Frozen II dominated home video sales the week ended Feb. 29, topping both NPD VideoScan’s First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.

The sequel to 2013’s Frozen earned $477.1 million at the domestic box office and $1.45 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing non-photorealistic animated film of all time. The first film spent nine weeks as the No. 1 seller when it hit disc in 2014, including eight consecutive weeks upon its debut.

Lionsgate’s Knives Out debuted at No. 2, selling about 14% as many copies as Frozen II. The murder mystery from writer-director Rian Johnson earned $164.8 million at the domestic box office.

The previous week’s top seller, the war film Midway from Lionsgate, slipped to No. 3 on both charts in its second week.

Also in its second week, the Mr. Rogers docudrama A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood fell to No. 4 on both charts.

No. 5 on both charts was the racing drama Ford v Ferrari, from Disney-owned 20th Century Fox.

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Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 78% of total unit sales for Frozen II, with 9% of its overall tally coming from the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition. For Knives Out, 66% of its total came from Blu-ray, with 17% of its total from 4K Ultra HD.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended March 1, Knives Out took the top spot, with Frozen II at No. 2.

Midway dropped to No. 3, while Universal Pictures’ 21 Bridges took No. 4, and Ford v Ferrari was No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 2-29-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 3-1-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 2-29-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 2-29-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 2-29-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 3-2-20

‘Knives Out’ Cuts to No. 1 on Redbox Charts

Lionsgate’s Knives Out debuted in the No. 1 spot on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental and On Demand charts the week ended March 1.

The Redbox disc rental chart tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks. The Redbox On Demand chart tracks digital transactions, including both electronic sellthrough and streaming rentals.

Another newcomer, Disney’s Frozen II, bowed at No. 2 on the disc rental chart. Redbox doesn’t offer Disney titles through its On Demand service.

The previous week’s top title on both charts, Lionsgate’s war drama Midway, slipped to No. 3 on the disc chart and No. 2 on the digital chart.

Universal Pictures’ 21 Bridges slid to No. 4 on the disc rental chart and stayed No. 4 on the digital chart.

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Fox’s racing drama Ford v Ferrari dropped to No. 5 on Redbox’s kiosk disc rental and No. 3 on the On Demand chart.

Sony Pictures’ Mr. Rogers docudrama A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood dropped to No. 6 on the disc chart and No. 5 on the digital chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 1:

  1. Knives Out — Lionsgate
  2. Frozen II — Disney
  3. Midway (2019) — Lionsgate
  4. 21 Bridges — Universal
  5. Ford v Ferrari — Fox
  6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood — Sony Pictures
  7. Playing With Fire — Paramount
  8. Joker — Warner
  9. Doctor Sleep — Warner
  10. Jojo Rabbit — Fox

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 1:

  1. Knives Out — Lionsgate
  2. Midway (2019) — Lionsgate
  3. Ford v Ferrari — Fox
  4. 21 Bridges — Universal
  5. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood — Sony Pictures
  6. Playing With Fire — Paramount
  7. Joker — Warner
  8. Jojo Rabbit — Fox
  9. Zombieland: Double Tap — Sony Pictures
  10. Harriet — Universal

 

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Merchandising: A Flurry of Options for ‘Frozen II’ and ‘Knives Out’

Retailers lined up exclusives for two big Feb. 25 home video releases: Disney’s Frozen II and Lionsgate’s Knives Out.

For Frozen II, Target offered a couple of exclusives. First was a limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack containing a filmmaker gallery and storybook, at $34.99.

Target’s ‘Frozen II’ 4K Blu-ray with storybook
Target’s ‘Frozen II’ 4K box art

The other was a Blu-ray Disc double feature of the two “Frozen” movies, at $39.99.

Best Buy offered a 4K Ultra HD Steelbook of Frozen II for $34.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Frozen II’ Steelbook

Walmart’s Frozen II 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray had a slipcover with exclusive box art, and the combo pack came with two exclusive Vudu digital bonus featurettes, “Frozen Fashion” and “Olaf: Older and Wiser.” The set is listed online at $32.96 but some stores had it for $29.96.

Walmart’s ‘Frozen II’ 4K Blu-ray

For Knives Out, had the Blu-ray for $19.99 packed with a copy of the unpublished novel mentioned in the movie.

Target’s ‘Knives Out’ Blu-ray with bonus booklet

Best Buy had a 4K Ultra HD Steelbook of Knives Out for $29.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Knives Out’ Steelbook

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Lionsgate Ups Q3 Motion Picture Segment Profit; Streaming Video Costs

Liongate’s motion picture group, which includes home entertainment, Feb. 6 reported third-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2019) operating income of $49 million, which was up 12.5% from operating income of $43.5 million in the previous-year period.

Revenue increased 30% to $474 million from $362.6 million during the previous-year period. The studio attributed much of the gain to the box office success Knives Out, which is expected to top $300 million at the worldwide box office, as well as the continued outsized ancillary home entertainment performance of John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.

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Knives Out, which features an ensemble cast, has generated more than $294 million at the global box office since launching Nov. 27, 2019.

Separately, Keanu Reeves actioner, John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, finished 2019 as the ninth best-selling DVD/Blu-ray Disc release according to VideoScan tracking data.

“Our Motion Picture Group turned in a strong performance in the quarter,” CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement.

At the same time, Lionsgate continues to push over-the-top video distribution — specifically Starz and StarzPlay internationally. The streaming services ended the period with more than 8.6 million subscribers. The company has projected StarzPlay international subscriber growth from 15 million to 25 million over the next five years.

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The legacy pay-TV businesses Starz, StarzPlay Arabia and Pantaya reached 28.5 million subs in the quarter. The overall global total reflected an increase of 2.1 million subscribers, up 8% year-over-year. Total domestic Starz subs declined 1.2 million year-over-year to 24.1 million.

Rollout of StarzPlay International and Starz OTT continue to balloon costs and negatively impact the bottom line. StarzPlay posted a segment operating loss of nearly $40 million, while streaming services lost $9.8 million. Both units lost a combined $5.8 million in the previous-year period.