Oscar Revenue Slipped, As The Film Academy Managed A Tricky Fiscal Year


Oops. An annual report on its way to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday shows that Oscar-related revenue for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019—that would reflect the host-free Green Book year, when the audience was up a bit—suffered a slight drop.

The decline wasn’t much: Just a half percentage point, to $131.1 million from $131.8 million in the 2018 fiscal year. But it’s an unhappy marker for a group that has taken pride in annual increases—the previous year saw Oscar revenue rise 7.2 percent in the face of a ratings decline—and has been banking on future income to finance its ambitious museum project.

Read the full report here.

Overall, the Academy’s financial picture, as of seven-and-a-half months ago, at any rate, was neither dismal nor rosy. Total assets were up by about 10 percent, to $1.18 billion from $1.07 billion the year before, and net assets—the total, minus liabilities—grew 14 percent, to $756.5 million from $662.1 million in 2018.

But behind those figures were some soft spots. As of mid-2019, proceeds from the Academy’s 2015 bond issue were spent. The remaining $73.1 million in bond proceeds dropped to zero, while total debt stayed even at about $353 million. Much of the increase in assets came from a 45 percent rise in the value of property, equipment and building improvements—mostly the museum, now set to open on December 14—to $461.3 million from 318.1 million in 2018. More, the year’s $94.4 million increase in net assets was actually about 21 percent lower than the $119.2 million increase in 2018.

Total revenue rose 10.3 percent, to $178.5 million from $161.9 million a year earlier. That was boosted by investment income—saved by the market!—which rose by half, to $23.4 million from $15.6 million in 2018. Member dues, though rising, still made a relatively small contribution: $3.6 million in 2019, up from $2.9 million a year earlier.

And some things remained more or less the same. Awards-related expenses were $41.4 million, up marginally from $41.2 million in 2018, the second Jimmy Kimmel year. Likewise, a previously reported bond payment of $132.2 million still comes due at the end of this year, as a maturity date hits in November.

A footnote in the 2019 report explains that the Academy, in addition to any Oscar-related royalties or bonuses, expects in the coming years to collect “minimum performance obligations” that rise around 3 or 4 percent each year, from $115.5 million in 2020, to $120 million in 2021, to $124.1 million in 2022, and so on. Barring any unforeseen renegotiation, this seems to be the bedrock on which any future borrowing—and that option has been under discussion–must stand.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/02/oscar-revenue-slipped-film-academy-tricky-fiscal-year-1202859374/