Comcast’s Universal Pictures Expects to Focus on Franchises



Franchise-focused strategy for Comcast’s Universal Pictures

In fiscal 2017, Comcast’s (CMCSA) NBCUniversal’s Universal Pictures is set to release Fast & Furious 8, Shades of Grey, and Despicable Me 3. In fiscal 2016, it didn’t have as strong of a slate as it did in 2015. However, the company was still pleased with the success of its movies such as The Secret Life of Pets.

Comcast noted at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference earlier this month that with its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, more franchises such as Shrek have been added to its franchise portfolio. The company is optimistic about the success of Sing, which is set to be released in January 2017.

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At the conference, Comcast also talked about how the DreamWorks Animation acquisition could tie in with its consumer products business. It stated, “And consumer products, which ties into that business, is underway making a modest amount of money. But that’s a business where Disney makes a couple billion dollars a year in cash flow and we’ve got a runway to really go after that business and DreamWorks has really helped us with that. But we’ve got a great team on the field now and going after that opportunity.”

 NBCUniversal FIlmed ENtertainment

Comcast’s Filmed Entertainment business in fiscal 3Q16

Although Comcast’s The Secret Life of Pets had a strong performance in fiscal 3Q16, its theater distribution revenue fell 21.1% due to a difficult comparison to the performances of Jurassic World and Minions at the box office in fiscal 3Q15. The segment recorded lower production costs in fiscal 3Q16 compared to the same quarter last year, because in fiscal 3Q15, Comcast’s Universal Pictures released more films.

Theater distribution made up 39.0% of Comcast’s Filmed Entertainment’s total revenues of $1.8 billion in fiscal 3Q16.


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