Lionsgate Posts Quarterly, Fiscal-Year 2019 Losses

There might be a reason Lionsgate reportedly considered selling Starz to CBS for billions of dollars. The studio/distributor had a rough fiscal fourth quarter (ended March 31) and operating year 2019.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company posted a quarterly loss of $159.1 million compared to net income of $89.6 million during the previous-year period. Revenue fell nearly 13% to $913.7 million, compared with more than $1 billion in the year-ago period.

For the fiscal year, Lionsgate recorded a net loss of $284.2 million, compared with net income of $468.1 million in fiscal 2018.

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The motion picture segment saw revenue decrease 20% to $1.46 billion in the fiscal year, due primarily to a smaller film slate in fiscal 2018. Segment profit decreased 28% to $129 million.

The studio’s Robin Hood reboot, starring Jamie Foxx and Ben Mendelsohn, among others, misfired at the box office, generating just $30.8 million on a reported $100 million production budget. The title generated nearly $54 million internationally.

A more detailed look at home entertainment results is forthcoming pending release of the company’s 10K filing.

Regardless, CEO Jon Feltheimer tried to put a positive spin on the results.

“We’ve completed a very active and productive fiscal 2019 in which we set in place all the elements for strong growth and continued value creation in the year ahead,” Feltheimer said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Starz Networks — with 24.5 million pay-TV subscribers — generated operating profit of $108.6 million on revenue of $355 million. That compared to operating profit $114.7 million and revenue of $350.5 million in the previous-year period.

For the fiscal year, operating income reached $488 million on revenue of $1.44 billion. That compared to operating income of $468 million on revenue of $1.4 billion in 2018.

Starz’ much-hyped over-the-top streaming video service narrowed its operating loss to $1.8 million on revenue of $6 million. That compared to an operating loss of $7.7 million on revenue of $2.9 million in the previous-year period.

For the fiscal year, Stars OTT narrowed operating loss to $11.3 million from $38.9 million. Revenue increased to $18.1 million from $7.1 million in 2018.

“We’ve … refocused on extracting maximum value from our franchise properties and are capitalizing on an extraordinary opportunity to continue Starz’s global expansion and cement its stature as one of the leading international pure play subscription video-on-demand services,” Feltheimer said.

Lionsgate Ups Jen Hollingsworth to COO of Motion Picture Group

Lionsgate March 20 announced the promotion of Jens Hollingsworth to chief operating officer of the motion picture group.

Hollingsworth, who has been with Lionsgate since 2007 when it acquired Mandate Pictures, previously was EVP of strategic planning and operations.

She will spearhead strategic planning, analysis and control daily operations. She will also engage in cross-company initiatives designed to ensure that each movie maximizes its ancillary potential throughout the company’s multiple entertainment platforms, including home entertainment, digital distribution and over-the-top video.

“Jen is one of the most exceptional and talented motion picture business strategists working in our industry today,” Jeff Drake, chairman of the motion picture group, said in a statement. “She knows this company inside and out, is skilled, experienced and is the ideal COO.”

Hollingsworth’s promotion comes as Lionsgate struggles at the domestic box office with just 5.5% market share. Through March 17, the studio has generated less than $110 million in domestic ticket sales of six theatrical releases.

Indeed, Lionsgate’s Robin Hood reportedly was the biggest fiscal theatrical bomb in 2018, generating just $14 million in its first week of release on a budget of $100 million. The title, which eventually generated $30.8 million domestically ($84.7 million globally), was released into retail channels in February.

Robin Hood

Regardless, Drake says Hollingsworth is “the best” at understanding the marriage of business opportunities and the creative aspirations of filmmakers.

“Our company just got stronger with Jen in this role,” he said.


Lionsgate Bringing ‘Robin Hood’ Remake With Taron Egerton Home in February

Lionsgate will release the Robin Hood remake starring Taron Egerton as the title hero digitally Feb. 5, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 19.

The cast also includes Jamie Foxx as Little John,  Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Eve Hewson as Maid Marian and Jamie Dornan as Will Scarlet.

Bonus material includes the seven-part documentary “Outlaws and Auteurs: Reshaping Robin Hood,” plus outtakes and deleted scenes.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.