‘Barbie’ brought in $1.5 billion for Warner Bros.
The blockbuster “Barbie” brought in a record-breaking $1.5 billion for Warner Bros. Despite the company’s improvements, its fourth-quarter loss was larger than Wall Street expected at $417 million.
However, after taking into account interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the company reported a narrow profit.
Warner Bros. Discovery, needed the revenue boost from “Barbie” to achieve a narrow 2% increase in sales. Quarterly revenue came in at just under $2 billion for the company.
The strong box office performance offset a 12% drop in advertising revenue in WBD’s networks unit of $235 million. It also reported an unspecified drop in revenue due to strikes by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA, the unions representing 160,000 actors, which halted most television and movie production for months. Despite the writers’ strike having been settled, SAG-AFTRA remains on strike and negotiations between the union and studios and streaming services are ongoing.
A strike could cost the company up to $500 million in earnings for the full year, the company said in September. Gunnar Wiedenfels, CFO of the company, warned investors Wednesday that “some negative financial effects of the strike may last into 2024 to some extent.” As well as “possible continued sluggish advertising trends” into 2024, Wiedenfels said.
During the third quarter, the company’s CEO David Zaslav said the strike had “forced us to delay some releases” and resulted in a “lightest original content schedule in years.” There were no updates on costs related to the strike provided by the company.
It is important to us that our creative partners feel valued and rewarded, and we look forward to both sides telling great stories again.”