Warner Brazzers. Discovery streaming strategy in the spotlight for second quarter profit

Leslie Grace attends Warner Bros. Suicide Squad premieres at The Landmark Westwood on August 2, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

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Investors are looking for Warner Brazzers. Opening for details on its streaming strategy as the newly merged company reports second-quarter earnings after Thursday’s call.

They already got a big hint earlier this week.

On Tuesday, the company announced it would be postponing its direct DC movie Batgirl, surprising fans and offering a glimpse into a new era of serious business under newly appointed CEO David Zaslav.

Zaslav took over management in April and prioritized cost-cutting measures and sought to refocus the company’s content strategy. Unlike former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, Zaslav wants the company’s big-budget films to debut in theaters, not on the streaming service.

The decision also raised questions about the future of HBO Max’s other film and television projects, with many followers turning to social media worried that their favorite programs could be next on the block.

While Batgirl had a more modest budget than its theatrical counterparts – around $90 million after Covid protocols pushed up costs – Warner Bros. Discovery, the newly created merger of Warner Media and Discovery, is scouring its books for places to save money. The Batgirl movie delay allows the company to write off taxes as part of a broader effort to reduce the company’s overall debt.

The film wrapped production in March and was in the early stages of editing by directorial duo Adil El-Arbi and Bilal Fallah (Bad Boys for Life, Ms. Marvel), but it will not be released on the company’s streaming service. service, a theatrical premiere, or sell to another studio if the company chooses to deduct taxes.

The film’s burial also saves Warner Bros. Find out about potential marketing costs and any additional payments on original film contracts that may have been made prior to the merger.

Famous actors are often compensated after the release of the film, depending on box office or audience performance. And some big names joined Batgirl: Michael Keaton reprized his role as Batman, J.K. Simmons was cast as Commissioner Jim Gordon, and Brendan Fraser was cast as the villain Firefly.

“Although the stated explanation for the rejection of Batgirl As far as changing strategies around releasing feature films directly to streaming platforms, that still seems like a great move given how far production has come,” said Robert Thompson, Syracuse University professor and pop culture expert. burn down your house just before you pay off your mortgage.”

According to Thompson, this decision appears to “at least sort of evaluate” the film’s quality, as Warner Bros. Discovery sees no future for it in streaming or theatrical release.

However, since Batgirl is in such early stages of post-production, further editing could resolve issues with the film in time for its scheduled debut in late 2022.

While shelving a film may lead to some financial decisions, it comes with a social cost. Not only were DC comics fans disappointed, but many wondered why the company pulled the plug on the project, which was helmed by African-Latino star Leslie Grace.

Warner Brazzers. Discovery has already been criticized for not openly comment on ongoing allegations against The Flash star Ezra Miller.

While executives remain tight-lipped about Miller, they are expected to address the controversial decision during the company’s earnings call on Thursday – along with broader questions surrounding his content and streaming plans.