‘WrestleMania’ boost for WWE

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson boosts results; set to return

The timing of “WrestleMania 27” helped WWE more than double its profits during the second quarter.

The company reported $14.3 million in net income vs. $6.3 million in the year-earlier period, aided by a 33% boost in revenue to $142.6 million during the three months that ended June 30.

“WrestleMania 27,” which took place April 3 in Atlanta, generated revenue of $35.9 million for the company on more than 1 million PPV buys — a mark WWE had been eager to reach after years of declines. Last year’s event, from Phoenix in March, counted 885,000 buys.

Despite the “WrestleMania” success, PPV buy rates for other WWE events and live-attendance numbers were down during the rest of the quarter.

But Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s appearance at “WrestleMania 27” is credited with upping interest in the event, and he’s already agreed to compete in the main match at “WrestleMania 28” in Miami next year.

He is also set to appear in multiple PPV events leading up to the big show, including November’s “Survivor Series.”

Company’s film division, WWE Studios, earned $4.3 million revenue, up 61% gain over last year, driven by drama “That’s What I Am,” starring Ed Harris. Division took a $3.3 million writedown, however, from the pic’s production and release.

WWE has been hit just as hard by a dropoff in homevideo sales as the major studios, with homevid revenue down 35% during the quarter to $7.5 million. Disc shipments fell 11% on its titles, whose prices dropped to around $12.50, off 6%.

To offset those declines, WWE has been offering more of its DVDs as digital titles. The digital side of its biz was up 15% to generate $6.2 million.

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