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MGM First-Quarter Earnings Decline on Lack of a James Bond Movie

Privately held MGM has reported a 42% decline in first-quarter earnings to $35.2 million from $61 million in the year-ago quarter, when Daniel Craig’s “Spectre” was still in theaters.

Revenues also declined 15% to $264 million from $311.3 million. MGM released James Bond movie “Spectre” — which grossed $880 million worldwide — in late 2015 while its only theatrical release during the 2017 quarter was horror-thriller “The Belko Experiment,” which grossed $10 million domestically for BH Tilt. Film division revenue fell 36% to $155 million.

MGM’s TV division, led by Mark Burnett, saw revenues soar 75% to $86 million, thanks to “Survivor,” “The Voice,” and “Vikings.”

MGM also reported Tuesday that adjusted EBITDA slid 29% to $88.3 million. MGM cited continued strong performance of TV content business, which grew 26% primarily due to deliveries of new shows, including “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome,” and partial deliveries of “Vikings” (season 5), “Fargo” (season 3), and “The Handmaid’s Tale” (season 1).

Adjusted EBITDA for film content included the pay television premieres of “Me Before You” and “Barbershop: The Next Cut” and the digital performance of “The Magnificent Seven” and “Ben-Hur.” The prior year’s first quarter included strong contributions from “Spectre,” “Creed,” “Hot Pursuit,” “Poltergeist,” and “Max.”

The studio has not yet dated the 25th Bond film and it’s uncertain if  Craig will star. Producers have yet to decide on which studio partner will handle distribution. Sony has handled the last four Bond movies — “Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace,” “Skyfall,” and “Spectre.”

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