Peppa Pig keeps Entertainment One on track

Entertainment One has cheered the rising global popularity of its famous children's TV character Peppa Pig as the cartoon hit the big screens and continued to take China by storm.

The group said the film release of Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience raked in £3.6 million in box office takings in the UK, as well as another A$2.2 million (£1.3m) in Australia and New Zealand.

It added that revenues have also been better-than-expected across China, where Peppa Pig is rapidly gaining new fans, with demand also soaring for branded toys, clothing and home furnishings.

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This has been driven by nationwide broadcast on China’s CCTV network and through more than 34 billion views on Chinese social media platforms since the launch of the brand in September 2015, according to the group.

Entertainment One, which also owns film business eOne and a television arm, said all its divisions were performing on track.

But the Canada-based, UK-listed media group revealed box office revenues at its film division nearly halved so far in the year to date due to a lack of new releases – at $82m (£48m) against $151m a year ago.

The firm said this is expected to turn around in the second half, with the recent release of Charlize Theron’s Atomic Blonde expected to make $100m worldwide, followed by other new titles including A Bad Moms Christmas.