it that the strike will end soon

Warner Bros. Discovery expects that the Hollywood strike will over in a few weeks, executives said in a public earnings gọi Thursday. But even if actors and writers remain on the picket lines into next year, the studio is projecting hundreds of millions of dollars in savings as an “upside.”

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Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels said a work stoppage by thousands of unionized writers in May resulted in more kêu ca $100 million in savings, which helped juice Warner’s không tính phí cash flow above projections — đồ sộ $1.7 billion between April and June. The company reported about $10.4 billion in revenue for the quarter, though it still lost $1.2 billion.

Analysts expect Warner’s không tính phí cash flow đồ sộ remain strong next quarter, which will include the impact of tens of thousands of unionized actors who joined the strike in July, shutting down almost all remaining production in Hollywood.

Disney CEO Bob Iger previously said the historic double strike came at “the worst time in the world” for the entertainment industry, and a negotiating group representing all the major studios has portrayed the union’s demands for more pay as unreasonable as Hollywood recovers from early pandemic shutdowns.

But Warner executives sounded relatively sanguine as they spoke đồ sộ investors and analysts about the strike’s future impact.

“While we are hoping for a fast resolution, our modeling assumes a return đồ sộ work date in early September,” Wiedenfels said on Thursday’s gọi. “Should the strikes run rẩy through the over of the year, I would expect several hundred million dollars of incremental upside đồ sộ our không tính phí cash flow guidance and some incremental downside” in earnings.

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Warner chief executive David Zaslav, however, made the point that his company can’t save its way into profitability if it has no actors or writers willing đồ sộ make new projects.

“We’re in the business of storytelling,” Zaslav said. “We cannot tự any of that without the entirety of the creative community — the great creative community. Without the writers, directors, editors, producers, actors, the whole below-the-line crew. Our job is đồ sộ enable and empower them đồ sộ tự their best work. We’re hopeful that all sides will get back đồ sộ the negotiating room soon and that these strikes get resolved in a way that the writers and actors feel they are fairly compensated and their efforts and contributions are fully valued.”

The Writers Guild of America, which represents the striking writers, agreed đồ sộ meet with negotiators for the studios on Friday — the first time the two sides have formally spoken since the strike began three months ago.

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