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Wizard World has released its Q3 financial report,  and it’s not good. Convention revenue is down about $1 mil from Q3 2016, and down $7 million year to year. And as the SEC compels you to do, the overall picture is pretty crap:

We have evaluated the significance of these conditions in relation to our ability to meet our obligations and have concluded that, due to these conditions, there is substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern through November 2018.

As explained at Newsarama, Wizard World has burned through the $2.475 million investment from financier Paul Kessler, and is seeking similar financing deals. However, since their convention costs are rising faster than income, this may be a bit tricky.

Wizard is also continuing to pursue the reentry into the content market with WizPop a daily news video announced back in the summer that has yet to materialize, as well as a quarterly digital edition of Wizard magazine. They’ve also tinkered with their mix of shows, and plan to run a reduced 17 show schedule in 2018. However, unless they get an influx of capital they may not even last that long.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. This has been like a perfect storm. First, Wizard alienates the comic industry. Then they fall in love with selling VIP packages instead of putting on quality con programming. They raise the celebrity quantity at their shows to an unsustainable level (Seriously, check out the lineup in Chicago for 2014, 2015, and 2016. It was insane). Then they set a bunch of money on fire with ConTV while trying to dramatically expand their number of conventions. And then internal corporate strife destroys their celebrity booking operation (Look the Chicago lineup in 2017).

    A lot of those moves probably made sense when they made them and if only one doesn’t blow up on them, Wizard likely finds a way to muddle through. I mean, look at the other players in the market. We are nowhere near the point where even just adequately run cons have trouble drawing crowds.

    Mike

  2. After their inevitable bankruptcy, I really hope someone is able to pick up the pieces and launch a new version of Mid-Ohio Comic Con very quickly, ala how Crossgen, on the verge of collapse, sold Orlando MegaCon back to the old owners and there was no interruption in operation.

  3. Sadly, Wizard seems to have been responsible for their own troubles. The egregious entry fee to get into Wizard shows really was a strain on visitors as well as retailers, who would have to put up with a $50 admission before they could spend money on the vendors ( who were spending hundreds of dollars on their space also! ). Not to mention the rediculous parking fee as well. You could easily be in it for close to $100 before you even set foot in the place. Looks like their financial situation made them price themselves out of existence.

  4. Wizard World has always been a fav of mine, but yeah, the high entrance fee to get into the show is ridiculous (and you really didn’t get anything for it, besides the privilege to spend money in the dealers room). And each year the cost of vendor tables keeps going up as well and has caused many long time vendors to stop setting up at the show (especially the ones that sold comic books — sorry, but I like to buy comic books at a comic show!). As for parking, at least for the one in Chicago, has always been pretty reasonable though.

  5. Too many shows, no real attention to other con activity in area, no attention to expensive holidays, trying to set up conventions that are geographically close to each other, unstable guests list which causes pre-sale trepidation. It also seemed like they rent out far too many convention hall sub rooms for panels and classes.

    “A reduced 17 show schedule” is still way too much for a company that is struggling like this. I would have preferred to see 7 or 8 really well executed conventions set up for 2018.

    It really is difficult to see any solid business model with Wizard World conventions.

Comments are closed.