September 25 (Reuters) – Major studio companies gave up early share gains on Monday, buoyed by hopes of an end to the writers’ strike, while attention focused on the actors’ strike, whose resolution is crucial. for a full return to working in Hollywood.
Warner Bros Discovery, Paramount Global, Walt Disney fell between 0.3% and 2.1% in poor trade, after rising as much as 4% before markets opened.
The Screenwriters Guild of America (WGA), which represents about 11,500 film and television screenwriters, reached a tentative three-year agreement on Sunday, which now requires approval from guild leadership and union members.
But the strike by the wider actors’ union continues. Nearly 160,000 film and television actors, stuntmen and other media professionals walked off their jobs in July to demand higher wages and protection from the use of artificial intelligence.
Investors in media companies are worried about the financial consequences of the strikes, which initially boosted cash flow due to lower spending, but now are starting to eat into profits.
The writers’ agreement “will also mean that studios and streaming services will now focus entirely on the demands of actors,” said Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown.
“The big studios are likely to face a major hit within 12-18 months, with little in the pipeline and bosses are now desperate for new content to attract eyeballs to screens big and small.”
WBD, whose CEO David Zaslav played a key role in contract negotiations with writers, previously warned that the company’s full-year adjusted gross profit would take a hit of up to $500 million due to the delaying projects due to disruptions.
Their shares have fallen nearly 14% since the writers’ strike began on May 2, while Paramount, Disney and Netflix have lost between 20% and 45%. By comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 index is around 5%.
Netflix, however, rose about 1%, as analysts said the streaming giant is better placed than its media competitors because it has production operations and staff in regions outside the United States. United States, which is not affected by the strike.