’21 Jump Street’ pumps MGM’s Q3 earnings

Revenue will increase in Q4 thanks to 'Skyfall,' 'Hobbit'

MGM, which is considering a public offering of its stock, saw third-quarter earnings jump 55% gain to $23.4 million, from $15.2 million in the 2011 quarter, as its Sony co-production on “21 Jump Street” helped keep revenues stable.

In a report on its website, the privately held studio disclosed that revenues were flat at $169.3 million vs. $169.2 million in the 2011 period.

“Revenue for the current year’s third quarter benefited from higher net revenue from co-produced films, primarily ’21 Jump Street,'” MGM said. “This was offset by lower revenue from new release content moving through initial television windows during the current year’s third quarter and the expected decline in the physical home entertainment market. We believe revenue will significantly increase above current levels beginning in the 2012 fourth quarter due to the releases of ‘Skyfall’ and ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.'”

“Skyfall,” a Sony co-production, has generated more than $500 million in worldwide box office. The first “Hobbit” movie, a co-production with Warner Bros., opens Dec. 14.

MGM also disclosed in the filing that third-quarter worldwide TV licensing revenue declined 5% to $90.2 million, primarily due to lower revenue of $10.3 million from new release content in initial TV windows. Those titles were primarily “Hot Tub Time Machine” in free TV domestically and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “Zookeeper” in pay TV in certain territories internationally along with $6.9 million from TV content, primarily from the “Teen Wolf” series.

MGM disclosed in a July filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was considering an IPO under new legislation effective in April that allows companies with under $1 billion in annual revenue to keep the process confidential until 21 days before a roadshow.

On Oct. 3, MGM announced that Gary Barber would become the sole chairman and CEO of MGM as Roger Birnbaum becomes a producer. The longtime partners were co-chairmen since taking over the Lion nearly two years ago.

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