Despite the Success of ‘Barbie,’ Warner Bros. Discovery Will Lose $500 Million

in Entertainment

Margot Robbie as Barbie wearing sunglasses

Credit: Warner Bros.

Barbie has become the top-grossing film in 2023, surpassing The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The Greta Gerwig-led feature has surprised the world, bringing in a whopping $1.38 billion, better than the Mario movie, which brought in $1.36 billion. Despite its success for Warner Bros., the company has revealed it will lose $500 million.

Barbie (Margot Robbie) dancing in the 'Barbie' movie
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: ‘Barbie’ Has Officially Dethroned ‘Super Mario Bros.’

The industry strikes are still raging on, costing plenty of studios money. No work is needed, and many productions have been stopped. However, there have been reports that Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav has been meeting heavily with Hollywood unions to end the work stoppage, but nothing has been fruitful.

We imagine that Zaslav is now feeling the pressure of his company dealing with the massive success of Barbie, which is being overshrouded by the millions of dollars they are losing from the work stoppage.

It has now been revealed that Warner Bros. has lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to the industry strikes. Barbie might have brought in $1.38 billion, but not all that money goes straight to the movie. There are production costs and promotions costs that must be divided up as well. WB knows this and is now facing a considerable profit hit.

Warner Bros. Will Lose $500 Million

Credit: Mattel/Warner Bros.

According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has released its 2023 adjusted earnings from $10.5 billion – $11 billion. This will be an earnings hit between $300 million and $500 million. The company has stated that this earnings hit is primarily due to “industry strikes.” The normal adjusted earnings were from $11.0 billion  – $11.5 billion.

WBD CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels stated:

“Uncertainty in the studio segment has increased with the dual strikes. This may have implications for the timing and performance of the remainder of the film slate as well as our ability to produce and deliver content. And while we are hoping for a fast resolution, our modeling assumes a return-to-work date in early September.”

Warner Bros. assumed that the strikes would conclude in September, which David Zaslav stated in the company’s Q2 earnings call. However, it does not appear that it will happen soon. There have been reports of meetings between Hollywood unions and the producers union, but nothing has been moving in a positive direction.

To make matters even worse, it was recently reported that the SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists)  union has also sent out strike authorization to the video game industry in hopes that the voice actors would join the cause, ensuring that three unions would not be on strike.

The WGA (Writers Guild of America) began its strike on May 2, with SAG-AFTRA joining on July 14. If the video game industry were to join both unions, it would place an even bigger stranglehold on show business.

Productions have been able to continue, as they have struck deals with SAG, though there needs to be an overall fair deal written to start up every production again.

For now, it appears that Warner Bros. will be feeling the sting of millions of dollars lost before the industry strikes come to a close. They are likely not the only company currently losing hundreds of millions of dollars, though no one else has yet to release information about how much money has been lost.

Writers picketing in front of the entrance of Walt Disney Company Writers Strike, WGA Strike
Credit: ufcw770 via Wikimedia Commons

Related: SAG-AFTRA Strike Targets Video Game Industry, Causing Full Entertainment Shutdown

Initially, it was reported that the producers union had no intention of settling with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, but should they have all lost $500 million like Warner Bros.—they might be scrambling to find a solution.

What do you think of Warner Bros. losing $500 million? Do you think the strikes will end soon? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!


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