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Comcast’s NBCU Suffers 79 Percent Box Office Drop

Strong TV, Theme Park revenue gains can’t offset rough film losses

Comcast reported its second-quarter 2016 earnings early Wednesday morning, when the NBCUniversal parent company revealed exactly how big its big-screen losses were.

The studio’s box office revenue flopped almost 79 percent versus 2015’s Q2 — a much-stronger 90-day period that boasted the likes of “Jurassic World” and “Furious 7.” The overall Filmed Entertainment segment was down 40 percent.

NBCU’s TV and Theme Parks segments performed quite well, but their combined revenue gains could not fully offset the film losses. Comcast’s robust cable-provider arm grew in both video and Internet, lending a big hand to the big picture.

Wall Street had forecast Comcast earnings per share (EPS) of 81 cents on $19 billion in revenue, per a Yahoo Finance compilation. Comcast topped on those EPS estimates by two pennies apiece, as revenue bested the top-line expectation with $19.269 billion.

Net income slipped from the comparable quarter to $2.028 million.

Still, company chairman and CEO Brian Roberts was “pleased” with what he called Comcast’s “excellent results” from the most-recent three months. Naturally, he began his prepared remarks with some cable subscriber highlights, and not the whole film thing.

“We more than tripled our customer relationship net additions, with our best second quarter Internet customer results in eight years and our best second quarter video customer results in over 10 years, and we successfully balanced this with strong operating cash flow growth,” he said. “Despite an expected difficult comparison to last year’s record second quarter film slate, NBCUniversal achieved solid results, driven by strength in our TV businesses and Theme Parks, which benefitted from the successful opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood.”

CMCSA stock closed a few coins down on Tuesday. Pre-market, shares are trading up a bit on the better-than-anticipated results.

Company executives will host a conference call to discuss the financials further at 8:30 a.m. ET.