Horror film ‘A Quiet Place’ helps Viacom beat earnings forecast

Boost for CEO at studio under pressure from shareholder to merge

Trailer for horror film, A Quiet Place.

 

The surprise success of the horror film A Quiet Place made a big noise at Viacom, helping earnings top estimates and sending the shares on their biggest rally in six months.

The results mark good news for chief executive Bob Bakish, whose top shareholder Shari Redstone has pushed the company to merge with CBS Corp, the other media giant controlled by her family’s National Amusements. CBS has resisted the deal, saying Viacom is a bad match, and is trying to dilute the Redstone family’s voting stake.

A Quiet Place’ cost just $17 million to produce and grossed $332 million in worldwide ticket sales. Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, which lost money in 2017, is in the midst of a strong summer at the box office, thanks to Mission: Impossible –- Fallout.

Led by Paramount, Viacom reported third-quarter profit from continuing operations of $1.18 a share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.07. Revenue grew to $3.24 billion in the period, just below projections of $3.27 billion.

That helped send the shares up as much as 8.9 per cent to $31.16 on Thursday, marking the biggest intraday gain since February. – Bloomberg