Young adult movies are the ticket for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., maker of the “Twilight” and “Hunger Games” sagas.
Movies based on teen-oriented books helped the company swing to profit in its fiscal fourth quarter and it’s looking ahead to similar offerings that will debut this year and next.
“We're obviously not the only ones mining the young adult space, but owning the top young adult franchises, ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Twilight,’ gives us enormous catalyst,” said Jon Feltheimer, Lions Gate’s chief executive officer, in a conference call with analysts Friday.
Sure, there’s no new Twilight movie coming out this year. The teen vampire saga wrapped up with the release of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part II” last year.
But “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” the second installment of the dystopian franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence, is set for release in November, as is “Ender’s Game,” based on the science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card.
Lions Gate’s January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment brought in not only the “Twilight” films and “Ender’s Game,” but also “Divergent” -- based on another series of popular young adult books -- which will open in 2014.
Feltheimer said the first two books in the "Divergent" trilogy have sold more than 3 million copies. The third book, titled "Allegiant," will be published in October.
Lions Gate’s stock shot up Friday after the call, on earnings and revenue that exceeded analysts’ expectations. Shares of Lions Gate rose 7.6% to $30.16 in late-morning trading in New York.
Lions Gate on Thursday reported fourth-quarter net income of $163 million, or $1.10 a share, compared with a loss of $22.7 million, or 17 cents, for the same period last year.
Adjusted net income for the quarter ended March 31 was $89.6 million, or 61 cents a share, beating analyst estimates of 47 cents.
Revenue increased 22% to $785.7 million, beating analyst estimates of $753 million.
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