Three ‘Transformers’ Movies Coming in the Next Three Years, Hasbro SaysBy
‘My Little Pony’ and ‘Play-Doh’ movies are also in the works
Annual operating profit to be in line with 2015, Hasbro says
Hasbro Inc., betting that the world has appetite for at least eight “Transformers” movies, said three additional films in the series are coming in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The next installment, which was previously announced, is being directed by Michael Bay and will star Mark Wahlberg, according to Hasbro Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner, who gave a presentation to investors on Friday. The 2018 movie will focus on the films’ Bumblebee character, while the 2019 sequel will be a general “Transformers” story, he said. They’re all slated for June releases.
Hasbro, the second-largest U.S. toymaker, released the Transformers products in the 1980s and built them into an entertainment franchise -- thanks in large part to the films. Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures has produced the “Transformers” series.
Keeping Hasbro’s brands in the spotlight is important because the company makes a higher profit margin from toys based on its own properties than from licenses like “Star Wars.” The company will expand this movie strategy to its My Little Pony brand with a film in 2017, and there’s a movie based on Play-Doh in development.
‘Star Wars’ Benefit
Even though they’re not Hasbro’s own brands, “Star Wars” and “Jurassic Park” toys helped boost results in the fourth quarter. And the company is poised to get an additional bump from taking over the main toy license for the Disney Princess and Frozen brands from larger rival Mattel Inc. That will help Hasbro’s girls division, which posted a 22 percent decline in sales last year.
The company also said on Friday that it expects operating margin this year to be similar to 2015 as it spends about the same amount on capital expenditures.
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