Lionsgate third quarter earnings rise, overall revenues fall

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 helped to lessen a steep fall in motion picture revenue at the Vancouver-based mini-studio.

Lionsgate on Thursday posted higher third-quarter earnings on the strength of the global release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, which has so far grossed around $715 million at the worldwide box office.

The mini-studio saw earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2015 rise to $98.2 million for the three months to Dec. 31, 2014, compared to a profit of $88.7 million in the same period of 2013.

At the same time, Vancouver-based Lionsgate saw third quarter revenues fall 11% to $751.3 million, against a year-earlier $839.9 million, as a decline in motion picture revenue offset rises in TV production revenue.

Motion picture segment revenue fell 22% to $590 million as Lionsgate had only two wide film releases in the latest quarter, John Wick and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, against four wide releases in the prior year period, including Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

TV production revenue, however, nearly doubled to $161.2 million in the quarter, as Lionsgate delivered a record 74 episodes and 58.5 hours of domestic television series, including episodes of Anger Management, Orange is the New Black, Nashville, Ascension, Mad Men and Manhattan.

“Our television division had another stellar quarter as it continues to emerge as a leading supplier of premium scripted content and our film business achieved strong profitability with a diverse portfolio of films,” said CEO Jon Feltheimer in a statement Thursday.