Lionsgate Q1 Home Entertainment Revenue Down, Still Dwarfs Theatrical

Despite a streaming focus, Lionsgate remains reliant on catalog home entertainment for the motion picture segment’s bottom line.

Home entertainment revenue decreased due to combined lower digital-media and packaged-media revenue as a result of fewer retail releases from the fiscal-2021 theatrical slate due to the global pandemic. Digital media revenue in the prior year’s quarter included significant revenue from the fiscal-2020 theatrical slate, which included I Still Believe and Knives Out.

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With scant new releases, Lionsgate reported first-quarter home entertainment revenue of $173 million, which was down about 19% from revenue of $213.8 million in the previous-year period.

Sales of DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies dropped 14% to $34 million from $39.2 million in the previous-year period. Digital sales, which include transactional VOD and premium VOD, fell 12% to $112.2 million from $127.7 million.

Digital sales of television product plummeted almost 47% to $24.5 million, compared with $45.9 million a year earlier. Physical sales topped $2.3 million, compared to just $700,000 during the previous-year period.

As home entertainment took its fiscal licks, the segment continues to dominate theatrical. Box office revenue increased to $28.4 million, up from just $3 million a year ago, but the tally represented just 18% of home entertainment movie revenue.

Theatrical results benefited from The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and Spiral, as theaters began to reopen in certain locations with reduced capacity. In the prior year’s quarter, theaters were mostly closed due to circumstances associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Lionsgate Renews Home Video Deal With Grindstone Entertainment

Lionsgate has extended a 12-year partnership with Grindstone Entertainment Group, entering new multiyear agreements with Grindstone CEO Barry Brooker and principal Stan Wertlieb, according to Ron Schwartz, president of worldwide home entertainment at Lionsgate.

The new agreement features a slate of upcoming movies, including actioner Force of Nature, starring Mel Gibson, Emile Hirsch and Kate Bosworth; thriller Rogue, starring Transformers’ Megan Fox; comedy Guest House, starring Pauly Shore, Aimee Teegarden, Mike Castle and Steve-O; and thriller Hair of the Dog, starring Gerard Butler.

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“This extension continues a longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship for both our companies,” Schwartz said in a statement. “Barry and Stan are the best in the business and have built Grindstone into a home for great talent, exciting properties and a source of consistent profitability.”

Schwartz noted that, in addition to the upcoming slate, Grindstone has amassed a 500-title catalog of content during it partnership with Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

“Our relationships with producers, filmmakers and stars continues to drive our ability to distinguish ourselves as innovators in the current streaming environment, and we will continue to pivot to take advantage of the marketplace,” said Brooker and Wertlieb.

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Recent Grindstone successes include the last two installments of the Escape Plan franchise, Escape Plan 2: Hades and Escape Plan 3: The Extractors, starring Sylvester Stallone, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Dave Bautista, and thriller, The Poison Rose, starring John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Famke Janssen and Brendan Fraser.