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INDIE’S ’96 REBOUND

Pic slate helps Kushner-Locke bounce into black

Kushner-Locke Co. earned $730,000 in 1996, a dramatic turnaround from its loss of $3.97 million in 1995, the production company reported Tuesday. The results were boosted by the release of several feature films, including “The Adventures of Pinocchio.”

The company also enjoyed an operating profit of $5.9 million for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

Coin up 292%

Kushner-Locke said its revenues rose 292% to $80.1 million in the year. It realized about $17.8 million from 16 feature films, including “Freeway” (executive produced by Oliver Stone), “The Last Time I Committed Suicide” (starring Keanu Reeves), “The Whole Wide World” and the HBO vidpic “Serpent’s Lair,” and another $26.3 mil-lion from the release of “The Adventures of Pinocchio.”

It also realized $22.8 million from the delivery of four network telepics and a web miniseries as well as the pilot for the midseason ABC primetime series “The Gun.”

“Our diversification and expansion are now paying dividends,” Kushner-Locke co-chairmen Peter Locke and Donald Kushner said.

Strong slate ahead

Locke added that a strong ’97 slate bodes well for continued fiscal growth into the new year.

Topping that list is “Gun,” executive produced by filmmaker Robert Altman. Altman also directs the first episode of the drama series anthology that each week follows the path of a handgun as it moves from owner to owner and through a variety of dramatic scenarios.

Kushner and Locke added, “We are proud to report record revenues, which are $60 million ahead of the previous fiscal year and $30 million more than the company’s previous record.”

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