Viacom CEO Says Flood Of Summer Tentpoles Hurt Film Profits

Philippe Dauman jumped on the bandwagon of media execs lamenting the oversupply of big-budget films competing with each other this summer. Although he told analysts this morning that Viacom will see “significant profitability” in the current quarter from its recent films which include Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z, the numbers will be lower than execs expected. “This summer had a particularly high volume of tentpole pictures from all the studios combined,” he said. That’s a problem: “We hope to drive the viewing of tentpoles for a longer period of time, and the crowded schedule limited a lot of pictures — ours included.” He assured analysts that it’s “not going to happen every year.” DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg made a similar point this week to explain the disappointing performance of his film Turbo. This summer included 50% more tentpole releases than in the same period last year, he said. What’s more, “we’ve seen more animation this summer by about 100% than we’ve ever seen before.”

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