Aug. 28, 2014, 8:59 AM
- Cowen Research analyst Doug Creutz thinks the soft summer box office season this year is evidence of a secular decline in domestic attendance as viewing habits evolve.
- The analysis runs counter to the line of thought of some media analysts who think a weak and uninspiring summer slate is the culprit.
- Creutz points out that the number of summer releases is in-line with historical averages, while box office bulls note tent-poles are spread out throughout the year more than in the past making the summer compare tougher.
- On tap in 2015: Blockbuster releases next year include Star Wars: Episode VII (Lucasfilm), Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel), Fifty Shades of Grey (Universal), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (Lionsgate), The Good Dinosaur (Walt Disney Pictures), Bond 24 (Columbia).
- Related stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, LGF, SNE, CMCSA, DIS, VIA, VIAB, IMAX.
Aug. 18, 2014, 11:44 AM
- The top 12 films in the U.S. took in $128.8M over the weekend to mark a 6% improvement over last year's corresponding haul.
- U.S. box office sales for August are on track to set a record for the month.
- The development gives some support to the argument that the weak box office in June and July was tied to a weak slate - not fundamental demand shifts.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (VIA, VIAB) and Guardian of the Galaxy (NYSE:DIS) took in $28.4M and $24.7M, respectively, to dominate the weekend - while Expendables 3 (NYSE:LGF) limped in with a disappointing $16.3M opening.
- Related stocks: RGC, AMC, CNK, IMAX, RLD, SNE, CMCSA, TWX, MCS, RDI, CKEC, FOXA, DWA.
Aug. 10, 2014, 9:37 PM
- The solid trend continues for the film industry as weekend revenue for the top 12 movies rose 22% compared to the year-ago period to $173.6M. The month is tracking for a +$900M total, and could even topple $1B which would be the first time the level has ever been achieved in August.
- Guardians of the Galaxy passed the $300M mark as the Marvel (NYSE:DIS) movie opened in dozens of countries over the weekend. The box office cume will go even higher after the film debuts in China and Japan.
- Paramount Pictures (VIA, VIAB) had a stellar weekend after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hauled in $63.5M during its run at 3,845 U.S. location and $93.7M globally. Twenty-somethings came out in force due to the nostalgia factor, according to exit surveys. The studio has already announced that it will back a sequel for 2016.
- Related stocks: RGC, AMC, CNK, IMAX, RLD, SNE, LGF,CMCSA, TWX, MCS, RDI, CKEC.
Aug. 2, 2014, 1:20 PM
- Marvel's (NYSE:DIS) Guardians of the Galaxy is on track to open with a weekend box office haul of $92M-$96M after sales came in extremely strong for Thursday and Friday.
- The superhero movie could have some staying power based on its solid A CinemaScore rating and a 92% Rotten Tomatoes score.
- The vibrant performance for Guardians comes at an opportune time for the movie industry with July theater ticket sales coming in at their lowest level since 1995 at $572M and at a paltry $14.3M per movie release.
- Though some media analysts have pointed toward an oncoming seismic shift in how consumers want to view movies, Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan says an uninspiring film slate is the culprit. 2015 should see a bounce-back with The Avengers sequel, a James Bond movie, and the Star Wars reboot all on the release calendar.
- Related stocks: RGC, AMC, CNK, IMAX, RLD, SNE, LGF, VIA, VIAB, CMCSA, TWX, MCS, RDI, CKEC.
- Related ETFs: PBS
Jul. 30, 2014, 1:24 PM
- This weekend's debut of Guardians of the Galaxy will be the largest August opening in history with the Marvel (NYSE:DIS) film tapped to show in over 4K theaters including 350 IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) locations.
- The studio expects a $65M opening, while some Hollywood forecasts range as high as $74M.
- The film is being closely watched in the industry because the major superhero characters aren't well-known. A successful run would bode well for more profitable character spinoffs from powerful franchises such as The Avengers and Star Wars.
- Guardians is also one of the last big chances for the summer box office to recover to approach last year's level.
- Related stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC
Jul. 24, 2014, 7:52 AM
Jul. 23, 2014, 6:09 PM
Jul. 14, 2014, 7:05 AM
- The top 12 films at theaters in the U.S. earned $139.7M last weekend to mark a 26% drop from last year's level.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes had a strong opening for 20th Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), bringing in $73M to easily beat out of $55M the first movie in the new Apes franchise earned in its first weekend.
- Movie theater chains CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC will need a blistering pace of sales for the rest of the summer to match the box office haul for the season from last year.
Jul. 7, 2014, 7:41 AM
- The summer box office stayed in a sluggish trend with a 4th of July weekend that failed to produce any fireworks.
- The top 12 films for the weekend earned $118.5M, down 47% from last year when Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger debuted.
- Transformers: Age of Extinction led the box office rankings with a $36.4M haul for Paramount (VIA, VIAB), while Tammy opened to $32.9M over the five days for Warner Bros. (TWX).
- The summer box office is now down nearly 20% Y/Y after the misfire during the crucial holiday weekend.
- Related stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX, FOXA, SNE, CMCSA, LGF.
Jul. 2, 2014, 9:43 AM
- The summer box office is down 15% Y/Y as major films The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men:Days of Future Past, and Godzilla haven't done quite enough to keep pace with the string of blockbusters which came out last summer, according to Variety.
- Theater exhibitors are feeling the impact a bit more than studios with their box office cut back-end loaded, note insiders.
- Related stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX.
May. 30, 2014, 10:27 AM
- Consumers are rapidly adapting to purchasing movies through digital channels, according to NPD.
- The growth rate for the electronic sell-through of movies is triple of that for TV EST.
- The exclusive early release window for some digital titles appears to be helping to boost demand and awareness.
- The trend is encouraging for studios (DIS, LGF, SNE, VIAB, TWX, FOXA, VIA, CMCSA) looking to capture some of the lost revenue from the lower demand for DVDs.
- Movie theater operators (CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, DCIN) might look at the development differently with their revenue share mix tilted higher the longer movies stay in a theater.
May. 17, 2014, 10:20 AM
- Godzilla smashed estimates for its opening day with an estimated box office haul of over $38M.
- The weekend forecast is now for a $98M take vs. $65M-$75M prior and a total gross of $136M for the flimsy 1998 Matthew Broderick Godzilla.
- Media analysts note Warner Bros. (TWX) and Legendary Pictures delivered a near-perfect marketing message which teased movie-goers without saturating them to the point of boredom.
- A CinemaScore of B+ indicates Godzilla might stay on its legs for a while in the U.S. and easily eclipse The Lego Movie (also Warner Bros.) for the top U.S. gross of 2014.
- Early indications are that a high mix of moviegoers are paying up to see the film in the IMAX (IMAX) 3D format.
- What to watch: Theater operators (CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, DCIN) will get a definite boost with the strong weekend traffic, while Time Warner's Q2 just got a little more exhilarating through the giant lizard's exploits.
May. 4, 2014, 10:05 AM
- DreamWorks Animation (DWA) CEO Jeffery Katzenberg fired out a warning to the movie industry during his talk at the Milliken Global Conference in Beverly Hills last week.
- “Movies are not a growth business,” exclaimed the exec who cut his teeth on the medium.
- Katzenberg sees a future where movies play for a short period of three weeks at theaters for $15.00 - followed by a run on TV at $4.99 and smartphones at $1.99. The forecast doesn't bode well for theater operators and associated businesses.
- DreamWorks plans increasing its focus on shortform (digital and TV) in response.
- Liberty Media (LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei also cautioned at the conference of a seismic change in the media industry as "clutter" from video games and social media crowds out traditional entertainment channels.
- Movie studio stocks: DIS, LGF, SNE, VIAB, TWX, FOXA, VIA, CMCSA
- Movie exhibitor/equipment stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX, DCIN
- Related ETF: PBS
Apr. 21, 2014, 1:08 PM
- Movie ticket prices fell 4.7% to an average of $7.96 a ticket in Q1, according data release by the National Association of Theater Owners.
- The decline came with the quarter on the light side of 3D titles.
- Last year, ticket prices rose 2.1% to $8.13.
- Related stocks: CKEC, CNK, AMC, RGC, MCS, IMAX, RLD, DCIN
Apr. 8, 2014, 2:36 PM
Mar. 26, 2014, 7:07 AM
- Global box office sales rose 4% in 2013 to $35.9B.
- China accounted for a good portion of the gain with sales rising 27% to $3.6B.
- Box office growth in the U.S. was more tepid at 1%. Movie studios (DIS, LGF, SNE, VIAB, TWX, FOXA, VIA, CMCSA) increasingly relied on tentpole releases in the U.S. as the number of titles topping the $100M mark domestically went up to 35 from 31.
- Related stocks: AMC, CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX, DCIN.
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