(Reuters) – Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount Global and Walt Disney made progress on Thursday in pre-stock exchanges after the agreement in principle reached with the actors’ union, which could make it possible to restart film and television productions interrupted since the spring by a series of strikes.
Walt Disney gained more than 4% in electronic transactions, Warner Bros took 2.2% and Paramount 2.5%.
Walt Disney also benefits from the publication on Wednesday evening of quarterly results above expectations.
The actors’ strike, which lasted 118 days, will end shortly after midnight, SAG-AFTRA said in a statement. The three-year agreement reached between the union and the studios is valued at more than a billion dollars and provides for an increase in minimum wages and new bonuses.
The writers, who had gone on strike before the actors, returned to work at the end of September.
“It’s certainly a very encouraging sign that the gap that has been growing between actors, writers and studios can finally be bridged and work can begin in earnest to restart productions,” said Susannah Streeter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
The actors union’s national council will review the deal, which also includes protections against unauthorized use of artificial intelligence-generated images, on Friday, with a final ratification vote expected in the coming weeks.
Susannah Streeter warned that “it will take a long time before new films, in particular, appear on screens, given the length of the post-production process.”
Warner Bros. executives said Wednesday they expect the impact of the work stoppages to extend into the final quarter of the year, as a lack of content has caused subscriber numbers to plummet.
The group, which postponed the release of “Dune: Part 2” from November 2023 to March 2024, expects an impact of “a few hundred million dollars” on its operating profit over the last three months of the year.
Warner Bros stock fell 19% on Wednesday, its biggest session drop since March 2021.
(Reporting Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bangalore, Augustin Turpin, edited by Blandine Hénault)
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