'Jurassic World' Shows Movie Making Can Be a Very Healthy Business

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Comcast's (CMCSA), the country's largest pay-TV operator, is poised to get a substantial boost this quarter from its filmed entertainment sector, which is enjoying a windfall of box-office receipts from Jurassic World.

The film, yet another sequel to the 1993 hit Jurassic Park, generated $208.8 million in box office sales in its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada, the largest ever, narrowly besting Avenger's $207 million debut in 2012. The film blew away analyst estimates and claimed the record for most worldwide sales that totaled $511.8 million, topping Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2's $483 million worldwide debut.

"Well, we didn't see this coming," said Wells Fargo senior analyst Marci Ryvick in a June 6 note. The firm had expected $115 million in opening-weekend sales. "And from most of the press reports we've read so far, it seems like nobody else did either. And to think, last year there was talk of the film industry's demise."

Hollywood loves its blockbusters. When a film far exceeds estimates, as Jurassic World has done, it underscores why the largest media companies continue to invest millions into making movies that can play as well domestically as they might in countries around the world. 

Prior to this weekend, Time Warner (TWX), with films San Andreas and American Sniper pushing ticket sales to $885 million year-to-date, had been the top selling studio in 2015, but Jurassic World propelled Universal Studios into the lead with more than $1 billion, Bloomberg reports.

With a renewed focus on movie success with a revived 20-year-old brand now on par with Frozen or Star Wars, Universal Studios is set to shake up Comcast's revenue stream while giving investors a positive piece of news in the wake of a failed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC) that foundered on regulatory concerns.

Comcast currently draws about $22.05 billion in cable TV revenue, $14.37 billion in broadband revenue, $4.9 billion in voice revenue and about $4.8 billion in advertising and franchise fee revenue annually, according to Trefis, which analyzed the company's first quarter fiscal 2015 results.

It's NBC and Comcast content revenue, including $5.45 billion in filmed entertainment revenue, already provides Comcast with a substantial revenue stream of $26.11 billion.

Despite Jurassic World's success, shares of Comcast were down about 0.1% at $58.17 late Monday morning, weighed down by the worries about Greece's debt issues that were dragging on the broader stock market. Comcast is up about 10% the past year. Shares trade in a 52-week range of $49.33 to $60.85.

Jurassic World can further pad Comcast's revenue through its theme parks in Orlando, Hollywood and Japan, which already include Jurassic Park rides. NBCUniversal's Universal Parks and Resorts already draws about $2.98 million in theme park revenue for Comcast, which is building a $3.3 billion new Universal theme park in Beijing expected to eventually encompass 1,000 acres.

Comcast acquired an additional 49% of NBCUniversal, which owns Universal Studios, from General Electric in 2013.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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