Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. on Thursday reported a better-than-expected fiscal third quarter profit, boosted by a strong box office for "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."

After the markets closed, the Santa Monica film distributor reported net income of $88.8 million (59 cents a share), 119 percent better than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 13 percent to nearly $840 million.

Excluding special items, Lions Gate had net income of 64 cents. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected adjusted profit of 44 cents a share on revenue of $834 million.

Overall motion picture segment revenue rose 12 percent to more than $757 million. In addition to the "Hunger Games" sequel, which so far has grossed $860 million in worldwide box office receipts, Lions Gate also saw success overseas for the films "Escape Plan" and "Now You See Me.” Television production revenue rose 17 percent to $82.3 million driven by episodes of "Anger Management", "Nashville" and "Orange is the New Black."

Shares earlier closed up $1.05, or 3.4 percent, to $31.73 on the New York Stock Exchange.