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China’s Sohu to Net $18 Million Profit From ‘Pancake Man’ Hit

Chinese portal, games and video group Sohu expects to earn profits of $18 million from “Pancake Man,” the megahit comedy spoof film that is currently in release.

The release in July came too late to boost the company’s second quarter results, which it reported on Monday. Revenues were up and net losses down a fraction.

Total revenues for the group were $494 million, up 23% year-over-year, and 8% quarter-over-quarter. Revenues for Sohu Video were $59 million, up 36% year-over-year and 17% quarter-over-quarter.

GAAP net loss attributable to Sohu.com Inc. was $28 million, or a $0.71 loss per fully diluted share. (Before minority interests, the group achieved a net profit of $11 million). The non-GAAP version of its accounts showed a $14 million loss.

Like other major Internet groups and video platforms in China, Sohu has expanded upstream into film investment and production. “Pancake Man” (aka “Jianbin Man”), in which it is the majority investor, has earned some $140 million (Rentrak reports $132 million, Entgroup $142 million) at the Chinese box office in 10 days of release. Sohu conservatively estimates a final cumulative total of $150 million.

“Based on the estimated final gross revenue of about US$150 million, we will recognize net revenues of about US$26 million and net income of about US$18 million generated from this movie attributable to Sohu,” it said in a statement.

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