EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wizard World, Inc. (OTCQB:WIZD) (“Wizard World” or the “Company”), a leading producer of pop culture events and a distributor of online pop media, reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015 (“Q2”).
Q2 2015 Operational Highlights
- Hosted major Comic Con conventions in Las Vegas, St. Louis, Madison, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Philadelphia and Sacramento.
- Launched ComicConBox, a premium monthly subscription box service that delivers Comic Con merchandise directly to fans and enthusiasts. Every month since the launch has been a sellout.
- More than 387,000 CONtv app installations, with average viewership of 101 minutes per week for active users.
Q2 2015 Financial Highlights
Total revenue increased 24% to a record $7.6 million from $6.1 million in the first quarter of 2015, and increased 7% from $7.1 million in the comparable period in 2014. The improvement was primarily driven by an increase in convention revenue, which totaled $7.4 million or 98% of total revenue.
Average revenue generated per convention in the second quarter of 2015 increased to $1.1 million from $972,000 (seven events) in the prior quarter, and decreased from $1.8 million (four events) in the comparable period in 2014.
Gross margin in the second quarter of 2015 was $738,000, a decrease from $2.8 million in the comparable period in 2014. The decrease was due to higher advertising and marketing expenses associated with increasing brand awareness in certain markets, as well as higher programming costs. In addition, convention center build-out expenses per event were higher in order to increase attendance and enhance the Wizard World fan experience.
Total operating expenses in the second quarter of 2015 were $2.1 million, an increase from $2.0 million in the second quarter of 2014. The increase was due to additional staffing and employment costs related to the greater number and size of the conventions in Q2 2015.
Other expenses in the second quarter of 2015 were $467,000 versus a nominal amount in the comparable period in 2014. The increase was due to the Company’s investment in its CONtv joint venture with Cinedigm.
Net loss attributable to common stockholders in the second quarter of 2015 totaled $1.8 million or $(0.04) per basic and diluted share, compared to net income attributable to common stockholders of $760,000 or $0.01 per basic and diluted share in the second quarter of 2014.
At June 30, 2015, the Company had $4.6 million in cash and believes its liquidity position is adequate to execute its growth plan.
“Q2 was highlighted by record quarterly revenue and more than a twenty-percent increase in average-revenue-per-convention over the previous quarter,” said John Macaluso, CEO of Wizard World. “This was achieved despite unforeseen celebrity cancellations due to scheduling conflicts and other unrelated contractual obligations. While we experienced overwhelming demand for our first Comic Con in China, the event was not as successful as we anticipated due to extraordinary circumstances and venue changes. We learned from this experience, and, in preparation for the next one, will be taking greater control over the event logistics and day-of execution so that we can better serve the robust and vibrant pop culture community in China.
“During the quarter we made significant progress toward diversifying our revenue stream in order to reduce our dependence on any one event or business segment. This included the introduction of a recurring revenue model with the rollout of ComicConBox, which launched to sensational reviews in Q2. In fact, demand far exceeded our expectations and we sold out our first edition boxes in less than a week. We are now planning to ramp up the volume of boxes shipped monthly, and anticipate this recurring, higher margin revenue stream to continue to grow, as the excitement spreads among our fan base for this fun and engaging product offering.
“In addition to diversifying our revenue streams, we have also implemented a number of strategic initiatives to improve profitability. These range from creating greater operational efficiencies that reduce headcount and lower fixed costs, to procuring more suitable convention space for each of our events.
“Looking ahead, we see many opportunities to build upon the Wizard World brand both domestically and internationally, and are positioned to benefit from the strong pipeline of superhero movies slated for release in the next couple of years. We plan to leverage our unique fan engagement platform, marketing knowledge and logistics expertise to capitalize on these growth opportunities.”
About Wizard World
Wizard World, Inc. produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, television, cosplay, comics, graphic novels, toys, video gaming, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A's, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard World has also launched CONtv, a digital media channel in partnership with leading independent content distributor Cinedigm™ (NASDAQ: CIDM), and ComicConBox™, a premium subscription-based monthly box service. Fans can interact with Wizard World on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve certain risks and uncertainties. The actual results or outcomes of Wizard World, Inc. may differ materially from those anticipated. Although Wizard World, Inc. believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, any such assumptions could prove to be inaccurate. Therefore, Wizard World, Inc. can provide no assurance that any of the forward-looking statements contained in this letter will prove to be accurate.
In light of the significant uncertainties and risks inherent in the forward-looking statements included in this letter, such information should not be regarded as a representation by Wizard World, Inc. that its objectives or plans will be achieved. Included in these uncertainties and risks are, among other things, fluctuations in operating results, general economic conditions, uncertainty regarding the results of certain legal proceedings and competition. Forward-looking statements consist of statements other than a recitation of historical fact and can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "intend," "expect," "will," "anticipate," "estimate" or "continue" or the negatives thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. Because they are forward-looking, such statements should be evaluated in light of important risk factors and uncertainties. These risk factors and uncertainties are more fully described in Wizard World, Inc.'s most recent Annual and Quarterly Reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including under the heading entitled "Risk Factors." Wizard World, Inc. does not undertake an obligation to update publicly any of its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.