Despite a strong box office result, Lionsgate suffered from weak quarterly earnings due to the impact of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Lionsgate’s TV division contributes a significant portion of Lionsgate’s overall revenues, and during the last quarter revenue from the TV division fell 59% year-over-year to $291 million. This drop was largely attributable to the 191 days when production was shut down by Hollywood’s labor strikes.
Putting the best spin on a bad situation, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer cited his company’s increasingly diversified slate of TV programs as one reason why losses weren’t even more severe. “Ten years ago, nearly all of our television profits came from our core premium scripted business,” said Feltheimer.
“Today, our contributions are spread across scripted, unscripted, talent management, syndication, and international productions, enabling us to navigate downturns in any one part of the business.” Lionsgate hopes that its recent acquisition of eOne from Hasbro will help it rebound quickly. eOne is behind the current popular series “Yellowjackets” and “The Recruit.” Lionsgate also anticipates success from its upcoming Starz series “Spartacus.”
While Lionsgate’s overall earnings in the last quarter were disappointing, its theatrical division stood out as one bright spot. Earnings from THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS & SNAKES and SAW X boosted box office revenue in the quarter by 53% year-over-year. Lionsgate’s full-year box office for 2023 came in at $584 million, significantly higher than figures from recent years.
Films such as JOHN WICK 4 and JESUS REVOLUTION enjoyed highly profitable runs, as their approach to maintaining tight control of production budgets appeared to pay off. Lionsgate will seek to replicate this formula in 2024 with upcoming releases of a John Wick spin-off BALLERINA, a faith-based feature ORDINARY ANGELS starring Hillary Swank and SAW XI, the next chapter in the long-running horror franchise.