Alliance Atlantis Communications recorded a lower first quarter profit due to weaker results in its broadcast division. In a statement the company said that while its first fiscal quarter is historically its most modest, this was compounded by severance payments for the 37 full-time positions cut earlier in the year, as well as a $1.9m (C$3m) production financing non-fulfilment payment to Robert Lantos's Serendipity Point Pictures.
The company said the maximum remaining non-fulfilment payments that may be paid if Alliance Atlantis chooses not to finance future proposed Serendipity projects is $2.2m.
The statement said performance of AAC's Motion Picture Distribution Group was "satisfactory", with revenue of $47m, up 8% from the same period the previous year. It pointed to first quarter releases such National Lampoon's Van Wilder, The Importance Of Being Earnest, as well as Atanarjuat The Fast Runner, the first Inuit-language feature film, which has grossed over $644,000 (C$1m) at the Canadian box office. Domestic video/DVD titles released included The Others, I Am Sam, Serendipity, and Kate And Leopold.
The Group anticipates a big boost in the second quarter, with the release of Austin Powers In Goldmember and Spy Kids 2.