Wizard World has been aggressively expanding over the last few years (they’re up to like 24 conventions), and this has taken a toll on the organization financially. The company, while profitable in 2014, posted a first quarter loss of $980,000 this year… and things haven’t gotten better. Wizard World’s second quarter numbers are out, and they’ve posted another loss — this time for $1.8 million.
For those of you doing the math, that means Wizard World has lost $2.78 million this year so far.
Wizard World cites their rapid expansion as the reason for the loss, but only time will tell on whether these new shows will stick — as their average revenue per show has dropped since last year. Wizard World shows are a confusing beast and rarely draw from the same base that normally attends cons these days. Content has been drifting away from comics and trying to embrace pop culture programming and guests. This brings in larger numbers and a more mainstream crowd, but these are also less loyal consumers.
Customers who may be tired of paying the high entry price that comes with this focus.
As the market becomes more saturated and prices go up, you end up with burn out. I mean, Wizard World Wisconsin in Madison went well from all accounts, but these same attendees wouldn’t have that far a drive to get to Wizard World’s flagship con in Chicago. At some point these events begin to cannibalize each other’s numbers — especially when they cost so much.
The question is, have we reached that point yet?