Universal Q4 Home Entertainment Revenue Drops

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Jan. 23 reported fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2019) revenue of $276 million, which was down 12.4% from revenue of $315 million in the previous-year period.

After a promising start to the fiscal year, the home entertainment studio saw fiscal declines in Q3 and Q4 to end the year with $957 million in revenue, compared with $1.05 billion in 2018.

The studio’s top DVD/Blu-ray Disc release in 2019 was DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Overall, it was a disappointing year for Universal Pictures. Filmed-entertainment Q4 revenue decreased 21% to $1.6 billion, primarily reflecting lower theatrical revenue.

Indeed, box office revenue plunged 59.1%, reflecting the volume and strength of releases in last year’s fourth quarter, including The Grinch and Halloween (where’s Michael Myers when you need him?). Pre-tax earnings fell 48.9% to $91 million in Q4partially offset by lower programming and production costs.

With M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass ($247 million) and Jordan Peele’s Us ($255 million) as top-performing box office releases, Universal Pictures saw 2019 revenue decline 9.2% to $6.5 billion compared to 2018, partially offset by higher content licensing revenue.

Indeed, pre-tax earnings increased 13.5% to $833 million from $734 million in 2018, reflecting lower revenue, more than offset by lower operating expenses.

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