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MGM Earnings, Revenues Decline Despite ‘Skyfall’ Success

MGM Holdings has reported a 9.1% decline in second quarter earnings to $37 million, on a 13% slide in revenues to $274.3 million, despite the success of James Bond’s “Skyfall.”

The privately held company blamed lower home entertainment sales, which slid 36.8% to $85 million, as international revenues for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” were lower than “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

MGM also cited the strong dollar and last year’s release of “RoboCop” as reasons for the decline. The studio also noted that it has a “strategic moratorium” on James Bond releases to help a promotion planned for the upcoming Bond film “Spectre,” which opens November 6.

TV licensing rose 15% to $159.6 million, thanks to the initial free U.S. availability of “Skyfall” and the continued licensing of “Skyfall” and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

“Skyfall” is the most successful Bond film, having grossed $1.1 billion in worldwide box office.

Theatrical revenues plunged 69% to $1.1 million because MGM did not recognize a “substantial” portion of revenues for “Hot Pursuit” and “Max” — which Warner Bros. handled — and for “Poltergeist,” which was released through Fox.

Besides “Spectre,” the MGM slate includes the “Ben-Hur” remake via Paramount and the Rocky spinoff “Creed,” which will go out through Warner Bros.

Although MGM is privately held, it has been making its financial results public since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2010. It disclosed in a Wednesday conference call that the studio has repurchased about 700,000 of its shares since the end of the second quarter.

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