Canadian entertainment giant Entertainment One, which is in the midst of a $4B acquisition by toys company Hasbro, has forecast “slightly lower” film and TV revenues for the period April-September 2019.
In a trading update to the London Stock Exchange today, the Peppa Pig firm said the drop was down to “variances in the timing and mix of deliveries compared to the prior year period.”
The film, TV and music division was bolstered by the music department, which reported growth. This was in part down to the $215M acquisition of UK music production-library firm Audio Network, which the company said offset the decline in film and TV revenues.
The company noted that it continues to pivot its film operations to focus more on in-house production. The company pointed to Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, which it co-financed with CBS, as a recent success with $65.8M domestic gross. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum also performed well in eOne’s territories, taking $11.3M in Canada and $2.8M in Spain.
The firm is now gearing up for the release of U.S.-Canada drama Queen & Slim, the first production from eOne-owned LA-based producer Makeready, in the U.S. in November (via Universal) and the U.K. in January (via eOne), as well as Sam Mendes’ First World War drama 1917, from eOne’s output partner Amblin, which it will release in the U.K. in January.
The company said that scripted TV remained “vibrant”, and that it continues to grow the unscripted slate. Among returning shows are hot-button crime-drama The Rookie. Last week the company said it found no “behavior inappropriate for the workplace” during the production, whose star Afton Williamson had alleged sexual misconduct during the shoot.
Revenue across eOne’s family and brands division was consistent year-on-year. The company’s flagship show Peppa Pig celebrated its fifteenth anniversary in 2019. Tie-ins to the anniversary included the feature film Peppa Pig Festival of Fun, which has taken $3.5M in the UK.
The firm is also continuing to grow its business in China, in particular through the Peppa Pig and Ricky Zoom family properties. The latter premiered on the Youku SVOD platform in China in the period of the report, receiving 100 million views in its first 12 days and reaching the position of number three ranked pre-school property on the platform (behind Peppa Pig and local brand Boonie Bears).
eOne’s library assets increased in value to $2.1B as of March 2019, not including the acquisition of Audio Network.
Back in July, leadership at the top of the film and TV division was shaken up after Mark Gordon exited as president to transition to a multi-year producing deal with the company.