Warner Bros. Not only did Discovery turn a corner to post a quarterly streaming profit on Friday, but its CEO David Zaslav told analysts on an earnings conference call that he’s also excited about the improving outlook for the Hollywood giant’s venerable studio.
Zaslav reviewed Warner Bros. and touting its 100th anniversary this year, highlighting that “this studio has historically been the industry’s crown jewel, and we’re working hard to rebuild it to its former glory.” He praised “a meaningful creative momentum, with more and more of the industry’s most talented storytellers choosing to work with us.”
“After a very challenging year at the box office,” Zaslav praised such upcoming film releases as Dune: part two, Barbie, Blue Beetle And The flash. And he said, “We’re committed to not only expanding the size of our movie lineup next year, but more importantly, we’re committed to making great, high-quality movies that make an impact.” He reiterated his earlier comment that “it’s not about how much, it’s about how well.”
Warner Bros. had “two of the worst years,” but management is optimistic about rebuilding the studio, Zaslav said later on the call. “We’ve had James Gunn and Peter (Safran) working really hard on DC, which is going to be a very big growth engine for this company. We are very optimistic about DC. The Superman script initial draft is done. Gunn is on a mission from God. It is a very good time to prove to DC what we have and how strong it is globally for long-term sustainable growth.”
The CEO of WBD continued, “We have more movies that are better; we have worked hard to repair and improve and invest in them. We said not a movie before its time. And with Barbie And Flash we have two really good movies. I think the slate that comes now will make a big difference. We have lost a lot of money in the film industry and making that turnaround is important.”
Zaslav also said his team is focused on “reinvigorating our feature animation business,” citing the recent hiring of former DreamWorks Animation chief executive Bill Damaschke who is “hard at work (with the studio’s leadership) to develop a new slate.”