A little belt tightening, and some strong shows and Wizard World has shown a profit in Q1 2018 for the first time in a few years. It was modest – $283,276 – but it was a profit. In Q1 in 2017 they had an operating loss of $1,282,078.
Sales increased to $3.99 million for the quarter from $3.52 million in the year ago period on the same number of shows (three) in the quarter. Expenses dropped dramatically, from $1.66 million in Q1 2017 to $821,000 in Q1 2018. The company made $114,000 vs. a loss of $1.37 million in Q1 2017.
Wizard World attributed the increase in revenues per show to investment in its marketing and talent departments, which helped increase attendance, while the expense reduction was due to a major reduction in corporate overhead undertaken in late 2017, as well as reductions in costs to operate its shows.
According to a press release, the quarter included events New Orleans, St. Louis, Cleveland, and they will roll out a 16-event schedule this year. Operating expenses have been cut 49%, down to $821,556, versus operating expenses of $1,663,824 for Q1 2017.
Wizard’s CEO John D. Maatta stated: “It is a very exciting time at Wizard World. We have materially improved our financial results as we introduce operational efficiencies and aggressively move forward with new growth initiatives at the Company.”
But Wizard World is still operting on thin margins, and has “a big negative net worth and correspondingly large working capital deficit’ as Icv2 reports.
Despite all the problems with the comic con glut, Wizard World remains a mature business with a known reputation for those who still like their celeb-heavy mix of guests. I’ve been vocal about my problems with Wizard in the past, but honestly, if you’ve got to go to a show to get autographs, you might as well go to a professionally run show over the increasing slate of cash grabs by unknowns.