Pix put ‘Squeeze’ on Overseas earnings

Losses on “Infinity” and “The Big Squeeze” sent Overseas Filmgroup Inc.’s 1996 earnings down 38% to $1.6 million, the company said Monday, despite a 32% increase in revenue to $28.7 million.

OFG hasn’t formally reported its fourth-quarter earnings, but released approximate numbers in a preview of the re-sult Monday that also outlined recent film acquisitions, including “The Other Side of Sunday,” the Oscar-nommed Norwegian entry for best foreign-lingo film.

OFG also revealed the acquisition of copyrights to a number of films for which the company had acted as sales agent, including “Gun Crazy” starring Drew Barrymore, “The Web” starring Sandra Bullock and several action thrillers including “Maniac Cop II.”

“We have been amassing a library over the past three years as part of our business plan,” said chief operating offi-cer William Lischak. OFG currently owns copyrights on about 75 films and has distribution rights to 200 films overall. OFG has had a homevideo distribution deal with BMG.

OFG said it would report a net loss of about $1.5 million for last year, mainly because of a one-time tax charge of $2.6 million resulting from the company’s change in tax status during the year, compared with a profit of $1.7 million in 1995.

The decline in operating earnings was due to a loss of $700,000 on “Infinity” and $100,000 on “The Big Squeeze,” as well as an increase in overhead of about $875,000 “relating to increased staffing and infrastructure due to the expansion of the company’s business and certain merger-related expenses.” Last year, OFG became public in a merger with Entertainment/Media Acquisition Corp.

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