EXCLUSIVE: Carnival Films, the NBCUniversal production company behind Downton Abbey, has said its revenue took a hit last year as it looks to find its next mega-hit.
In earnings filed at the UK’s Companies House this week, the Gareth Neame-led indie reported that its total sales were £58.8 million ($73 million) in 2018, down nearly 24% on the £77.1M ($95.7M) recorded the year before.
The company’s pre-tax profit dropped 33%, falling from $15.2M ($18.9M) in 2017 to $10.1M ($12.5M) last year, according to the financial filing.
Carnival said in the filing that the hit to revenue was because it was “delivering fewer new titles.” It added that “material” existing titles were “nearing the end of their useful lives.” Carnival did not say what these shows were.
A Carnival spokeswoman said: “This is a cyclical market and our 2018 results are simply a snapshot in time, reflecting timing of delivery and the significant investment in development made last year.” She added that the indie “began 2019 on a high” with a number of projects in production.
The company has high hopes for the Downton Abbey movie, which opens in UK theaters today before a September 20 release in the U.S. If successful, Neame told Deadline this week that he “wouldn’t rule out doing another one.”
Away from Downton, Carnival is currently making Season 4 of Netflix show The Last Kingdom, while it is also working on Julian Fellowes’ latest creation — Belgravia for Epix and ITV. Other developments include an adaptation of James Smythe’s AI novel I Still Dream and Alex Gibney’s cyberwarfare project Stuxnet for HBO.
The company has also launched a new writers scheme, as it searches for the next wave of TV creators. Neame told Deadline that it will “lead to some individual developments with new and emerging writers.”
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