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La La Land hasn’t arrived to save the day at Lion’s Gate – at least, not yet.
The Hollywood entertainment company on Wednesday reported a loss for the past quarter as it absorbed costs from its recent acquisition of premium cable channel Starz, even as it heads into Oscar season with one of the most-nominated films of all time.
Its musical film La La Land has raked in 14 Oscar nominations – tying with All About Eve and Titanic for the most ever – and has grossed $270m to date, Lions Gate said on Wednesday, but the film’s success did not happen until after the close of the most recent quarter on December 31, and will count towards future quarters instead, the company said.
For the past three-month period, the company clocked $752m in revenue, a 12 per cent boost from the same period a year earlier but short of analysts’ expectations for $785.2m.
Its net loss for the quarter came in at $31m, translating to a per-share loss of 19 cents, compared with expectations for a 19 cent per share profit, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
The company chalked up $52m in losses to restructuring, severance and other costs associated with its $4.4bn deal last year for Starz, which is one of the most-subscribed premium pay-TV channels in the US, behind HBO.
“We’ve just completed one of our busiest and most productive quarters ever as we continue to scale our global content platform and integrate Starz into our operations,” said Lions Gate chief executive Jon Feltheimer. “Our strong film and television offerings are now complemented by our Starz premium network that is becoming a ‘must-have’ value proposition for the digital age.”
During the past quarter, revenues from its motion picture segment fell 13 per cent year-on-year to $440m, as films like Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween and Hacksaw Ridge failed to meet the high bar set last year by its release of the final installment in the Hunger Games series.
Its TV production revenues, meanwhile, were up 39 per cent to $229m, the second-highest ever, thanks in part to deliveries of episodes of Orange is the New Black, a hit Netflix series about a women’s prison.
Shares of Lions Gate, which have increased 45 per cent over the past 12 months, rose a modest 0.65 per cent in after-hours trading.
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