Aquaman made a $72 million debut
AT&T (T) gained a number of assets through its acquisition of Time Warner including HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros. According to Reuters, Warner Bros.’ Aquaman made a $72 million debut in the pre-Christmas weekend in the US box office, thereby winning this race.
The report also mentioned that Walt Disney Company’s (DIS) Mary Poppins Returns and Viacom (VIAB) Paramount’s Bumblebee were a distant second and third and posted figures of $22.2 million and $20.9 million, respectively. Sony’s (SNE) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Warner Bros’ The Mule rounded off the top five movies in the race for box office supremacy.
WarnerMedia’s growth could revive AT&T’s fortunes
AT&T rebranded its Time Warner unit to WarnerMedia after the acquisition. WarnerMedia accounted for 18% of AT&T’s revenues, making it an important business for the company. Warner Bros., WarnerMedia’s segment that caters to distribution, production, and licensing of movies and TV programming, accounted for 8% of AT&T’s overall revenues. WarnerMedia now plans to come with a Netflix-like (NFLX) video streaming service next year. It will be the third such over-the-top service from AT&T after WatchTV and DIRECTV NOW.
AT&T stock is down 30% in the last one year, as the company continues to lose pay-TV subscribers at a rapid rate. The company disappointed investors with below-par earnings last quarter. AT&T’s huge debt of around $183 billion also doesn’t help the cause. The broader market (QQQ) (VTI) sell-off also contributed to this decline. WarnerMedia is one of the growth drivers for the company now, and hit movies like Aquaman stand to benefit AT&T.