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Disney Writes Down $1.5 Billion in Content Related to Streaming Platforms

Sophie Thatcher in The Boogeyman (20th Century Studios)

Erik Gruenwedel

Taking a page from Warner Bros. Discovery’s playbook, Disney has written down $1.5 billion in content earmarked for its direct-to-consumer streaming platforms, spearheaded by Disney+ and Hulu. The company removed the undisclosed content on May 26, according to a June 2 regulatory filing.

In the filing, Disney said the write-downs could increase by another $400 million, in addition to terminating certain license agreements for the right to use content on its streaming platforms, which would result in the removal of licensed content from the services and lead to impairment and/or contract termination charges as well as cash payments.

Disney said it “currently expects that any such charges and payments related to licensed content would be meaningfully less than the impairment charges related to produced content”.

WBD last December announced the write-down upwards of $3.5 billion in  content earmarked for its Max streaming service, some of which was then licensed out to third-party ad-supported streaming platforms, including Fox-owned Tubi and The Roku Channel, among others.

Separately, Warner Bros. Pictures movie, Evil Dead Rise, was originally slated to be released as an HBO Max original. Instead, it was transitioned to an April theatrical release, generating more than $67 million at the North American box office.

Disney followed suit with The Boogeyman, a horror movie based on the eponymous Stephen King novel that was previously slated to be released as a Hulu original. The movie was exclusively released theatrically June 2 by 20th Century Studios, generating almost $20 million at the global box office in its opening weekend.

Disney CFO Christine McCarthy, in the most-recent fiscal call, foreshadowed the content impairment charges, in a move that would reportedly also reduce the company’s tax burdens going forward.

The company has not yet disclosed any third-party streaming license deals.

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