Despite “The Last of Us” and “Hogwarts Legacy,” Warner Bros. Discovery loses money

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) posted disappointing Q4 results yesterday, including a $217 million streaming division loss. The company touts the success of its new original series “The Last of Us,” which averaged over 15 million viewers, and the newly released video game Hogwarts Legacy, which sold over $850 million in two weeks.

Warner Bros. Discovery continues to lose money despite success of ‘The Last of Us’ and ‘Hogwarts Legacy’

The firm earned $11 billion, up from $9.82 billion in Q3 2022. Streaming income rose 6% to $2.45 billion, beating Wall Street expectations of $2.39 billion.

The firm added 1.1 million subscribers across HBO, HBO Max, and Discovery+, compared to the 1.6 million expected, bringing the total to 96.1 million. Last quarter, WBD added 2.8 million members instead of the expected 3.27 million. Netflix, with 230 million users, leads WBD.

HBO Max returned to Amazon Prime Video Channels and premiered famous shows like “The Last of Us” and “The White Lotus,” which won 10 Emmys and two Golden Globes. The company revealed a second season of “The Last of Us.”

WBD, like other media firms, is losing money on HBO Max and Discovery+. Netflix has profited.

WBD CEO David Zaslav informed investors that merger-related streamlining is complete. In order to reduce its massive debt, the firm has laid off workers and canceled many films and TV shows over the past 10 months.

Over the last 10 months, we made bold, decisive action and completed most of our restructuring. Now a single entity, we run our business. Our great executive team is rowing in the same direction. “And together, we are focused on making our businesses better and stronger,” Zaslav said during the earnings call. “Last year was restructuring. The building will happen in 2023.”

Zaslav announced that HBO Max/Discovery+ would debut a few months after the merger. At a press event on April 12, the company will share more.

Discovery+ will stay a standalone service for $4.99 per month customers, he added. HBO Max and Discovery+ will remain together. Last month, WBD raised HBO Max’s ad-free plan from $14.99 to $15.99.

After restructuring, WBD can grow its original content catalog. Zaslav announced that Warner Bros. Studios would film multiple “Lord of the Rings” movies.

Zaslav said the firm will “take full advantage” of its other IP, including “Superman,” “Batman,” and “Harry Potter.

DC Studios co-chairmen James Gunn and Peter Safran revealed 10 future film and TV projects, including “Superman: Legacy,” “The Batman – Part II,” “Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow,” and more.

Zaslav added, “I think our IP gives us an overwhelming advantage in the market.” “We have the strongest hand in the industry, with the most complete portfolio of assets and globally renowned franchises, personalities, and storytelling IP across sports, news, nonfiction, and entertainment, in virtually every region and language.”

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” will launch on March 17, “The Flash” on June 16, and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” starring Jason Momoa, on December 25. “Barbie,” “Dune: Part Two,” and “Wonka” star Timothée Chalamet.

HBO ordered an “IT”-inspired Max original series, “Welcome to Derry,” before yesterday’s results call.


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