Why ‘Barbie’ May Not Be Enough to Put Warner Bros. Discovery Back in the Pink

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David Zaslav is likely to tout the Margot Robbie-led film’s recent success as he reports earnings Thursday – but Wall Street has other concerns

(Warner Bros. Discovery/Getty Images)

In Warner Bros.’ summer hit “Barbie,” Ryan Gosling’s Ken has a breakthrough when he realizes he can find meaning without the titular doll played by Margot Robbie. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav will have to do the same on Thursday, demonstrating to Wall Street that there is more to the company’s growth story beyond the film’s recent success.

“Barbie” is an undeniable hit, on pace to reach $1 billion in global box office by Sunday. But it’s unlikely to do more than balance out some recent superhero flops. And Warner Bros. Discovery still has a heavy debt load that it’s struggling to shed, which is where analysts will likely focus their questioning on the company’s second-quarter earnings call.