Movies Lift Time Warner
Time Warner reported better-than-expected earnings for its second quarter Wednesday, with its movie and cable businesses substantially offsetting declines in its publishing and AOL units. The Warner Bros. unit was an especially big winner, with solid ticket sales for Sex and the City and Get Smart and store sales of the I Am Legend DVD. (Revenue from The Dark Knight will be reported in its third-quarter filing.) Speaking with analysts on Wednesday, Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes said that the success of Sex and the City was particularly gratifying because the franchise has benefited so many parts of the company. "It had its inception on HBO; it was syndicated with great success on TBS; then became a film produced by New Line; and finally was marketed and distributed worldwide by Warner Bros." He also forecast increased revenue from video on demand (VOD) and noted that next year every film released on DVD will be available on VOD on the same day (with the exception of the next Harry Potter movie).