Skip to Content

‘Ninja Turtles,’ ‘Transformers’ boost Viacom’s revenue

Viacom's headquarters in New YorkViacom's headquarters in New York
Viacom's headquarters in New YorkPhotograph by Daniel Acker—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Media giant Viacom (VIAB) reported a better-than-expected 9% jump in third-quarter revenue, as results were boosted by a huge leap in revenue derived from two hits at the box office. Here’s what you need to know about the earnings report.

What you need to know: Viacom has hit the jackpot at the box office recently, and it is showing in the media company’s results. Theatrical revenue surged 226% to $557 million in the third quarter from a year ago, helping total filmed entertainment revenue rise 12% (the growth offset a decline in the home entertainment business). Viacom had a big hit on its hands with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” a film that was released in August and has generated $464 million globally so far, according to Box Office Mojo. Meanwhile, “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which was released in late June and thus remained in theaters for Viacom’s third quarter–also boosted revenue.

The latest “Transformers” was the top movie of 2014 and the largest-ever release in China, according to Viacom.

The big number: Overall, revenue increased to $3.99 billion, better than the $3.9 billion projected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Adjusted profit for the period totaled $1.71 a share, better than the $1.68 expected by Wall Street observers.

What you might have missed: Though much of the attention will likely fall on the film hits, Viacom’s media networks, which includes MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and other channels, also performed well in the latest period. The media networks business is larger, and revenue rose 8% from a year ago. The growth was driven by higher affiliate fees, Viacom said.