Toon house revs rise but Roman reports loss

Loss due to reorg, new projects

Film Roman has reported revenues totaling $17.5 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, a 70% surge over the fourth quarter a year earlier, but the team behind “The Simpsons” still can’t drum up profits.

Company posted net losses of $4.7 million for the period, digging itself a deeper hole than the $2.9 million loss it accumulated for the fourth quarter 1998.

For the entire year, Film Roman can boast 48% higher revenues at $48.6 million — but against the backdrop of $7.5 million in net losses, compared to $6.9 million in 1998.

Film Roman has been retooling its management structure and re-evaluating its in-development projects since new CEO John Hyde came on board in December.

“One aspect of our strategy to ensure growth is to create a series of multiple-project relationships with film distributors, television and cable outlets,” explained Hyde.

“Film Roman has the talent, personnel and expertise to produce anything from a 10-second commercial to a 10-hour miniseries in either animation or live action. That’s our future.”

Company recently invested $2.5 million to fire up its own streaming animation Web site Level13.net, which Netcasts dozens of shorts on 13 different channels.

In addition to “The Simpsons,” Film Roman also produces the series “King of the Hill,” “Mission Hill,” “The Oblongs” and “Doomsday.”

On deck projects include 13 segs of “X-Men,” for WB Kids; the fine-tuning of “12th Lap” for the Disney Channel; and the completion of 3-D animated special “Santa Claus Brothers” for cable.

Film in various stages of development include Leelee Sobieski starrer “My First Mister” for Paramount Classics and an adaptation of Stephen J. Cannell’s “Greatest American Hero” for Disney.

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