Yesterday, we learned that superstar artist Sir Robert Liefeld will be the inaugural inductee into the Wizard World Hall of Legends at Wizard World Philly this weekend. But will he be the last?!
Things aren't quite that dire yet, but according to a report from super-serious industry site ICv2, the company posted big losses on its SEC filing for 2017's first quarter. We tried to check ICv2's math in the public filing here, but almost immediately after glancing at the accounting, we fell into a deep coma and had to be revived by our dog, who strapped cute doggie panels onto her paws and shocked us with a doggie defibrillator. What we managed to see before our head crashed to the floor seemed to add up though.
Here are the major points. The total revenue for the three month period ending in March 2017 was $3,522,076, down almost $2 million from the same period in 2016, which brought in $5,341,841. Convention revenue dropped $1.5 million from $4,993,659 to $3,447,957, while revenue from the ConBox subscription service fell from $348,182 to just $74,119. Despite the revenue drop, Wizard actually had a half million dollars in profit for the quarter, and had a lower operating cost than last year, but still operated at a loss of over $2 million and found itself with just $3.5 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter, down from $6 million at the same point in 2016, and…
Are we losing you? Hey! Wake up! Stay with us, we're almost through. *slaps reader*
ICv2 points out that, despite claims from Wizard World that the drop in revenue could be accounted for by the fact that the company held three shows instead of four in the quarter, revenue per show was still down $100,000. However, financing obtained in December, 2016 will help Wizard World continue with its planned 16 conventions in 2017. That's the financing, following earlier reports that Wizard would run out of money in 2017, and coming from Wizard World Executive Chairman Paul Kessler, that Bleeding Cool lovingly identified as "death spiral financing" when we reported on it, in the same we report where Bleeding Cool Rumormonger-in-Chief Rich Johnston noted:
So we've had the facts, now for the rumours. Bleeding Cool hears that other big shareholders are organizing a class action lawsuit claiming that their ownership is being significantly diluted by the action of Kessler and Wizard World President and CEO John Maatta. In the belief that this may have precipitated the crisis.
I have been told that the notice for the annual shareholder meeting is looking rather overdue, and as its stands, it appears that Wizard is legally obliged to issue notice of such a meeting very soon. I have also been told that there is a possibility that both Kessler and Maatta could be voted out by the other shareholders as a result of all this.
The lawsuit fiasco with the Shamus family couldn't have helped much either. At this time, both Kessler and Maatta retain their positions with the company. And according to ICv2's report, Wizard World intends to continue looking for areas to expand. Have the reports of Wizard's death been greatly exaggerated?
If we were qualified to answer that question, we wouldn't be writing about comic books on the internet. We'd be living large on Wall Street, bilking the rest of you suckers out of your wealth and stashing it in overseas tax havens. So instead of trying to make a prediction, we'll just end with this graph of Wizard World's stock value over the past three years from the Wall Street Journal: