Warner Bros. Discovery Has Lost $20 Billion In Value

Apparently that wasn't the way to go.

By Douglas Helm | Published

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The Warner Bros Discovery merger was a huge shakeup for the industry, and the transition into the new, larger company has been anything but smooth. The merger has been riddled with controversial decisions that have many analysts, casual observers, and even Hollywood celebs scratching their heads. These decisions haven’t been without their consequences either. Since the Warner Discovery merger, the company has plummeted by $20 billion in value.

When Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav set out his plans for the newly merged company, he announced the goal of cutting costs by $3 billion. Now, obviously, this cost costing doesn’t necessarily affect the stock price, but you have to imagine that shareholders aren’t happy with the dip. Back in April, Warner Bros Discovery had a market cap of $49.51 billion according to CompaniesMarketCap.com. As of today, that number is sitting around the $31 billion mark. Add that to the fact that the company is holding $55 billion in debt and it’s not a good look for Zaslav.

While the global economy and inflation have been worsening in recent months, the DOW Jones and S&P 500 have remained relatively stable, with a slight downtrend. This could explain away some of Warner Bros Discovery’s stock dip, but it doesn’t account for such a massive loss in value. Most of the blame is being placed on Zaslav, who continues to disappoint shareholders and customers with his decisions. His most urgent goal, to merge HBO Max and Discovery+, has been met with tepid enthusiasm at best. Perhaps the most controversial decisions come in the form of all of the content that is being cut or canceled on the HBO Max platform.

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The cuts started with some beloved DC shows on the CW, including Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow. While these were certainly a blow to fans of these shows, these cancellations were nothing compared to the next major cut that would be made for DC content — the cancellation of the nearly complete Batgirl movie. The industry was shocked when a movie with $90 million sunk into production, which was apparently complete, was shelved with tax write-offs as the reported reasoning. The Batgirl film was to be released on the HBO Max platform and would have starred Leslie Grace, Brendan Fraser, and Michael Keaton. Fans were outraged by the decision, but it looks like Warner Bros Discovery will be standing by it.

The killing of anticipated content doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. The most recent victim of the cancellation spree was an upcoming animated Batman series by Matt Reeves, J.J. Abrams, and creator of the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series Bruce Timm. This follows HBO Max’s decision to scrub nearly 40 animated series from their platform in the coming weeks. Other projects like Merry Little Batman, Did I Do That to the Holidays: A Steve Urkel Story, The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie, The Day the Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie, and Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical. It remains to be seen if Warner Bros Discovery can recover from this dip, but at this time it doesn’t seem to be making too many people happy.