Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
Co-producing the box office under-achievers Happy Feet Two, The Lucky One and Dark Shadows with Warner Bros. doesn’t seem to have hurt Australia’s Village Roadshow Ltd, which today announced a net profit of $A33.8M ($33.5M) for the year to June 30. That’s a 20.2% rise on the previous year. The company didn’t break out the results of its 47.6%-owned Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, which consists of Village Roadshow Pictures and the Concord Music Group. But managing director Graham Burke tells Deadline he’s happy with Village Roadshow Pictures’ performance, “We take a long-term perspective on our relationship with Warner. We put our money as a chip on the table with them.”
Burke highlighted the success of VRP’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which grossed $544M worldwide, and prospects for upcoming releases including Gangster Squad, The Great Gatsby, All You Need Is Kill, Lego and Fury Road. Burke says the 20 minutes of Great Gatsby he’s seen are “breathtaking” and he fully supports the decision to delay the release till summer 2013 to give Baz Luhrmann more time. In Oz, Roadshow Films continued as the top theatrical distributor with a market share of 26.5%, boosted by hits such as Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Red Dog, the 8th highest grossing Australian title of all time at $21.4M. Roadshow’s decades-long exclusive theatrical distribution deal with Warner in Oz has also been extended to December 2017. The theme parks business, which includes Wet‘n’Wild Phoenix, Wet‘n’Wild Hawaii and parks in Queensland, was the biggest contributor, notching $87.4M in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. The exhibition business in Australia posted a pre-tax operating profit of $31.5M.