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Lions Gate Sales Drop More Than Estimated After No Major Holiday Release

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the independent studio behind “The Hunger Games” teen adventure movies, reported third-quarter revenue that declined more than analysts predicted after releasing no hit in the holiday period.

Sales fell 24 percent to $323 million, the company, run from Santa Monica, California, said today in a statement. Analysts anticipated $358.4 million, the average of predictions compiled by Bloomberg.

There were no major releases from the studio, compared with four films a year earlier. Lions Gate distributed two Spanish- language films in the quarter as the studio geared up for the March 23 release of “The Hunger Games,” the first of four planned movies based on the best-selling novels by Suzanne Collins.

Net loss in the period ended Dec. 31 narrowed to $1.74 million, or 1 cent a share, compared with a net loss of $6.02 million, or 4 cents, the Vancouver-based company said.

Lions Gate last month agreed to acquire Summit Entertainment, maker of the “Twilight” films, a franchise that has generated $2.5 billion in global ticket sales, according to researcher Box Office Mojo’s data. The final movie in the series is scheduled to reach theaters in November.

Lions Gate bought Summit for $412.5 million, most of it financed with the target company’s cash, plus assumed debt. The company named Summit’s two top executives, Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, to lead its film division.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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