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Lions Gate’s Third-Quarter Revenue Drops More Than Estimated

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.

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