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Fox profit down despite Deadpool boost

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The superhero film Deadpool provided a lift for 21st Century Fox revenues in the past quarter, but profits fell for the media-entertainment conglomerate.

[NEW YORK] The superhero film Deadpool provided a lift for 21st Century Fox revenues in the past quarter, but profits fell for the media-entertainment conglomerate.

The group created by mogul Rupert Murdoch reported a 14 per cent drop in net profit in the quarter ending in March to US$841 million.

Revenues meanwhile rose six per cent to US$7.23 billion, helped by the filmed entertainment division which includes the Fox studios in Hollywood.

The company said the unit got a lift in revenue and operating profit from Deadpool, which has grossed over US$760 million at the box office.

Deadpool, based on a Marvel Comics character and the latest installment of the X-Men series, was a major draw for the company as it became the top-grossing film in the R film category, which restricts children without an adult.

The latest results show "the demonstrated value of our brands" and illustrate how "our outstanding creative content will drive our businesses forward in both the existing and evolving media marketplace," said a statement from Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan Murdoch, who now share the title of executive chairmen.

The New York-based group said its results were helped by growth in revenues from cable network programming and advertising on its television channels.

Fox said revenue got a lift from higher ratings and pricing at Fox News and a higher number of National Basketball Association games.

International affiliate revenue increased, driven by strong local currency growth at the Star India and Fox Networks Group International, which were known as Fox International Channels.

Murdoch in 2013 split his corporate empire into two separate firms, 21st Century Fox and News Corp, which kept the newspapers and other publishing assets that had been a drag on earnings.

He remains in control of both firms but has gradually begun to exit from operations.

AFP