Warner Bros. Discovery took an $825 million tax break on its canceled and discontinued content, according to a recent regulatory filing. The startup disclosed the information in documents on Friday (via The Hollywood Reporter), revealing that the number comes from content that was canceled or blocked entirely in the second quarter of this year. That figure reportedly includes a $496 million write-down on content, which represents content that was already produced or in production before it was scrapped. It also includes $329 million in content development write-offs, which represent programming that didn’t make it past the development stage. Content comes from Warner Bros.’ various film and television studios. Discovery, linear networks and streaming services like HBO Max and Discovery+.
“The content reductions and development deletions resulted from a global strategic review of content following the Merger,” Warner Bros. wrote. Discovery in deposition.
That number reportedly doesn’t include its recent cancellations Bat girl and Scoob!: Vacation Inn, which were first made public earlier this week. Both films, which had already been completed and were set to debut on HBO Max, were later reported to have been canned for the sake of tax write-offs, which appear to be shooting next quarter. In the days following, Warner Bros. Discovery also removed six HBO Max exclusive movies from the streaming platform and canceled its already completed third season Little Helen.
According to reports, that second quarter number may include the cancellation of DC’s HBO Max exclusive Wonder Twins film, which was abruptly canceled in May of this year after spending months in pre-production. The film would star KJ Apa and Isabel May as the titular superhero twins. The 2Q number may also include a number of programming cancellations at TNT and TBS, which inhibit the development of new scripted programming after the merger. It could also include CNN+, a streaming service that shut down a few weeks after its launch.
All this comes as the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is reportedly aiming to cut $3 billion from the company’s budget over the next few years. The company has already announced plans to merge HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single streaming service, which will supposedly happen as early as summer 2023.
“Having the content that really resonates with people is much more important than just having a lot of content,” Zaslav said on Warner Bros.’ quarterly earnings call. Discovery earlier this week.
What do you think of this new report on Warner Bros. tax cuts? Discovery? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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