Box office failures hit profits at film arm of Time Warner

Time Warner, the world's largest media group, yesterday paid the price for the box office flops Alexander and Catwoman when it announced its film business suffered a 27 per cent slump in profit in the fourth quarter.

The film arm, which reported profits of $284m (£151m), was a blip in an otherwise strong three months in which the media giant increase net profit by 76 per cent, driven by a particularly strong performance in cable and television networks.

The weak results in films did not come as a surprise to Wall Street, after the epic about Alexander the Great failed to grab audiences and one reviewer described Catwoman, starring Halle Berry, as "kitty litter".

Time Warner, whose headquarters are in New York, was also struggling against a particularly strong comparison with last year, when results were boosted by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Time Warner's troubled time at the box office in 2004 looked particularly poor in comparison with the performance of its rival, News Corp. According to Rupert Murdoch, News Corp' chairman, its Fox films division "thrived".

Time Warner pointed to sales at the cable group which rose 10 per cent as more customers subscribed to digital video and high-speed data services. Revenue at its television networks, which include HBO and TBS, increased 6 per cent.

Sales at the internet arm, America Online (AOL), rose 1 per cent and operating income grew 9 per cent despite subscriber losses. AOL lost 464,000 US subscribers in the third quarter and 2 million from the same period a year earlier. Operating income rose due partly to a gain from the sale of its Netscape Security Solutions business.

Time Warner, which is seeking an end to an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said it would restate financial results from 2000 to 2003 to reflect accounting for a dot.com-era deal with Bertelsmann. It has already pledged to the Securities and Exchange Commission to pay $300m to settle charges.

Richard Parsons, the chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, said the company had concentrated in the past year on bringing this investigation to an end, so that it could concentrate on its future strategy at AOL and elsewhere. "We are now sort of operating a fully settled down Time Warner," he said.

News
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food and drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Voices
A Siberian Tiger
voices
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Java Developer - Banking - London - Up to £560/day

£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...

HR Business Analyst, Bristol, £350-400pd

£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Account Manager - (Product & Account Management, Marketing)

£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Account Manager - (Produc...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried