Shares are -7.7% at midday, and that’s partly due to the opening weekend performance of Hunger Games: Catching Fire which grossed $160.6M at domestic box offices and $147M internationally. The consensus among Wall Street analysts was that the film would see $165M domestically, with some going as high as $175M. So the weekend was a slight disappointment. But most aren’t worried about the film’s prospects. With strong results overseas, Catching Fire is “already one-third the way towards our [global box office] ultimate of $900M after only 3 days in release,” B. Riley’s Eric Wold says. Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil says that the international performance “will really matter for the title to have material upside…and given the current trajectory we believe that this will be the case.” So why the drop in the stock price? Some investors figure that Lionsgate has peaked for now, and will lose buzz as people begin to focus on its next major film, Divergent, scheduled to open on March 21. Cowen and Co’s Doug Creutz says that while he’s “optimistic” that Divergent will become a franchise “we continue to expect a much lower level of performance than for Hunger Games” forecasting that the sci-fi action film based on the bestselling novel by Veronica Roth will generate $130M at domestic box offices.
The film stars Shailene Woodley and is set in a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities. When Tris Prior (Woodley) learns she is a “divergent” who doesn’t fit into any one group, she sets out to uncover what’s behind a conspiracy to eliminate all of her kind. Kate Winslet, Maggie Q, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd, Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtney, and Theo James also star, and Neil Burger directed. (Check out the latest trailer here.) Lionsgate shares are +94.5% over the last 12 months, but have slipped 14.5% over the last month.