The fate of home entertainment studio financials often revolves the strength and timing of movie releases at the box office and at retail.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Oct. 25 reported third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) revenue of $260 million, which was down 13% from revenue of $299 million during the previous-year period. Year-to-date, revenue reaches nearly $780 million, down 9.5% from $860 million last year.
The studio cited unfavorable comparisons with The Fate of the Furious and The Boss Baby releases in the previous-year. Indeed, Furious generated more than $46 million is combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc unit sales in 2017, while Baby sold another $28 million, according to The-Numbers.com. The titles ranked 11thand 19thbest-selling discs last year.
In the current quarter, UPHE generated revenue from Fifty Shades Freed ($23.6 million since May 8 release), Pacific Rim Rising ($16.7 million since June 19 release) and Pitch Perfect 3 ($14.8 million since March 20), among others.
Overall, Universal Pictures revenue increased 3.8% to $1.8 billion in the quarter, reflecting increased theatrical and content licensing revenue.
Theatrical revenue increased 16.7%, due to the success of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and the performance of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
Fallen Kingdom generated $1.3 billion at the global box office, including $417 million in the United States. Mamma Mia! generated $393 million at the box office, including $121 million domestically. Both titles were released on packaged media Sept. 18 and Oct. 23, respectively.
Content licensing revenue increased 8.6%, driven by the timing of when content was made available under licensing agreements. Pre-tax operating income plummeted 44.2% to $214 million, reflecting higher operating costs, partially offset by higher revenue.