Dearth of Releases Undermines Warner Bros. Q4 Home Entertainment Revenue

Warner Bros. Discovery Feb. 23 reported a 26% decline in content distribution revenue to $3.63 billion in the fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2022), from revenue of $4.91 billion in the previous-year period.

Content distribution, which includes theatrical, home entertainment, TV licensing and video games, saw TV licensing revenue decline mainly due to greater TV licensing deals in the prior year quarter, while games and home entertainment revenue dropped due to greater COVID-induced consumer demand in the prior year. Home entertainment revenue was further impacted by fewer new theatrical releases in the current year.

CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels, speaking on the fiscal call, said the home entertainment revenue drop was in part due to management’s decision to seek alternative distribution options for select titles.

Black Adam was released in Q4 2022, but that compares to Dune, The Matrix Resurrections, King Richard and The Many Saints of Newark all released in the
prior-year quarter.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Dune and The Batman ended 2022 as the studio’s top-selling digital/packaged media releases — the former released in retail channels more than a year ago.

The studio said it plans to produce new Lord of the Rings theatrical movies after inking a new distribution deal between Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, and Embracer Group, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth novels’ rights holder.

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