With only three new movies in theaters during the second quarter -- one a 3-D re-release and another released on behalf of a separate company -- Paramount Pictures revenue plunged 29% to $1 billion.
Thanks to sharply lower expenses, however, the studio's operating income dropped only 6% to $29 million, according to financial results released by parent company Viacom Inc. on Friday.
Among Paramount's releases in the three-month period ended June 30, "Titanic 3-D" was a huge hit, grossing $343.6 million worldwide, which was split between the L.A. studio and partner 20th Century Fox. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" has taken in a strong $501 million so far, though Paramount keeps just 8% of revenue from the DreamWorks Animation release. Paramount's only new self-produced movie, the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy "The Dictator," generated a soft $60 million domestically, but a healthier $106 million internationally.
Those couldn't compare to last year, when in addition to the successful DreamWorks movie "Kung Fu Panda 2," Paramount earned a fee on the Marvel hit "Thor" and had its own successful films "Super 8" and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." As a result, theatrical revenue for this period was down 52% to $283 million.