As unlikely and suicidal as a Screen Actors Guild strike would be, Citibank is still worried about one — or at least the notion of one. The slight chance that there will be a strike is making the studios gun-shy about approving new film production, which could screw up the studio’s 2009 film slates.
Here’s what the bank isn’t worried about: the financial impact of the new writers deal signed last month. Citi estimates that the studios will owe the writers about $300 million in residual payments in 2008, a very tiny fraction of which will come from the digital payments that provoked the strike in the first place. Citi says the new agreement is not significant enough to alter financial estimates for Time Warner (TWX), News Corp (NWS), Disney (DIS), etc.