WGA West Member Earnings Down, Residuals Up Dramatically

The television numbers are stronger than theatrical; new media reuse grows strongly as well.

The WGA West has released its annual report, providing not just the guild’s own balance sheet but also some figures regarding writer earnings and residuals. THR will be posting exclusive analysis later. Meanwhile, here are the key findings:

Overall earnings dropped 2.9%, while the number of writers reporting earnings dropped even more, by 4.5%.

Earnings of television writers grew by 2.9%, but the number of writers reporting television earnings declined by 1.1%.

The feature film landscape was bleaker: earnings slid 9.9%, while the number of feature writers plummeted by 11.2%.

Television residuals grew 12.8%, largely due to strong increases in basic cable and foreign reuse (32.5% and 18.9%, respectively). Foreign pay TV grew as well. Even primetime reuse grew (by 4.6%). Home video exploitation of television shows fell off a cliff, with a 31% decrease.

Feature residuals grew, by 6.1%, with most of the increase attributable to worldwide pay TV. Home video dropped by a modest 3.2%.

New media exploitation of television and feature film product grew dramatically (by 23.7% and 64.3%, respectively), but the overall dollar figures were quite small – only about 1% to 2% of total residuals.

Read the WGA West annual financial report here.

Email: jhandel@att.net

Twitter: @jhandel