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‘John Wick 2,’ ‘La La Land’ Power Lionsgate to Strong Q1 Earnings

The mini-major’s movie division’s profit jumped 173 percent

Lionsgate got its fiscal 2018 off to a strong start behind a massive increase in movie profits led by strong home entertainment performances from the Keanu Reeves action-adventure sequel “John Wick 2” and almost-Best Picture winner “La La Land.”

Tuesday afternoon, the mini-major studio reported revenue of $1.01 billion and earnings of 52 cents a share for the three months ended June 30, which the company classifies as its fiscal first quarter.

Analysts had projected $996 million in revenue and earnings of 33 cents a share, according to an individual with knowledge of the estimates.

Although Lionsgate only had two theatrical releases in the quarter, “All Eyez On Me” and “How to Be a Latin Lover,” massive home entertainment revenues from “John Wick 2” and “La La Land” helped its motion picture division increase its revenue by 16 percent and its profit by a whopping 173 percent compared with the same time the previous year.

Lionsgate also enjoyed the welcome combination of higher revenue and lower marketing costs. TV revenue dipped 19 percent due to the timing of episodic show deliveries, but television profits still jumped a healthy 31 percent.

On the company’s earnings call, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told investors that Lionsgate renewed its theatrical distribution agreement with CBS Films for three more years. CBS released Oscar nominee “Hell or High Water” last year.

“We are pleased to report strong first quarter financial results that have gotten fiscal 2018 off to a great start,” Feltheimer said in a statement accompanying the earnings release. “With our second straight billion-dollar revenue quarter, combined with strong bottom line profits, the scale of our global content platform is reflected in our financial results as well as our operational achievements.  We continued to grow our content business in the quarter by launching significant new premium properties, expanding the reach of current brands and adding to the Lionsgate-owned or controlled platforms across which we monetize our intellectual property.”