Wizard World Adjusts Show Schedule, Loses a Ton of Money
Wizard World’s planned show schedule for 2018 last fall included 17 venues and was as follows:
January 5-7, New Orleans
February 2-4, St. Louis
March 2-4, Cleveland
April 13-15, Portland, Oregon
May 17-20, Philadelphia
June 1-3, Des Moines, Iowa
June 8-10, Columbus, Ohio
July 13-15, Boise, Idaho
August 23-26, Chicago
September 21-23, Madison, Wisconsin
October 26-28, Oklahoma City
Fall TBD, Austin, Texas
October/November TBD, Biloxi, Mississippi
October/November TBD, Montgomery, Alabama
October/November TBD, Peoria, Illinois
October/November TBD, Springfield, Missouri
October/November TBD, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
We’re now well into 2018, so what’s the new plan?
The first three seem to have taken place. The next six are still on the schedule, but Winston-Salem has been put before Chicago, happening August 3-5 instead of in the fall. Oklahoma City has been cancelled and replaced with a Tulsa show September 7-9. Austin now has dates, September 21-23, as do Springfield (October 26-28) and Montgomery (November 9-11). Sacramento was added October 5-7, but Peoria and Biloxi appear to have been cancelled. Lastly, Madison, Wisconsin has moved from September (in the slot now taken by Austin) to November 30-December 2, not the most ideal time to visit the upper Midwest.
New total? 16 shows planned this year. The full Wizard World 2018 schedule can be found at https://wizardworld.com/comiccon. With the exception of a few legacies (Chicago, Philadelphia), they appear to be focusing on smaller markets where they can be seen as something special, instead of visiting large cities where there may be more competition and higher expenses.
At the end of 2017, Wizard World’s financial statements included warnings that they’d lost a lot of money and may not be able to continue past November of this year. The latest filing contains mixed news. They lost less money in the last quarter of 2017, but their overall losses for the year were $5.73 million.
The total show count for 2017 was 14, and the shows are making less on average, “$1.07 million per show in 2017 vs. $1.37 million per show in 2016.” Overall, the company is in the red: “the company shows a negative net worth of $3.37 million as of the end of 2017.” However, the warning about potentially not being able to continue has been removed, since they’ve made a lot of cost-cutting changes and assert that those will keep them going.