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Comcast chief calls his 'Battleship' a 'large miss'

June 01, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts called "Battleship" a "huge miss."
Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts called "Battleship" a "huge… (Universal Pictures )

Volatility at Universal Pictures, particularly the huge loss the studio is taking on "Battleship," has kept NBC Universal from a steady performance this year, the chief executive of its parent company Comcast Corp. said at an investors' conference Friday.

After noting that the NBC Universal had a 34% increase in operating cash flow during the first quarter driven in part by the success of films "The Lorax"and "Safe House,"Brian Roberts said the Comcast-owned media conglomerate that also operates television networks and theme parks is now facing a "negative quarter."

A major reason is that this spring has been dismal for Universal Pictures, particularly compared to last year when it released the hits"Bridesmaids"and"Fast Five."

"This year we have, unfortunately, a large miss in 'Battleship' and another one in 'Five Year Engagement,'" Roberts said.

The overall result, he added, is a stable first half of the year for NBC Universal with one notable asterisk:

"I think you have to look at this business for what happened in the first six months: We're flat to slightly down, right around what we expected except for 'Battleship' and the film volatility."

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