Investors are jumping on the anti-3D bandwagon as the weekend’s lackluster sales of 3D tickets for DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2 seemed to confirm that audiences are fed up with the higher prices exhibitors are charging for the immersive visual experience. Shares of 3D technology company RealD were down 12% in mid-day trading to $27 — amounting to a 23% decline over the last two weeks. Even with the drop, RealD shares are up nearly 40% from this time last year. Investors appear to be more disenchanted with DreamWorks Animation, which is making all of its films in 3D. Its shares were off 3.3% at midday to about $24 — which is down nearly 20% vs this time last year. 3D tickets accounted for about 45% of Panda‘s domestic box office revenues. By contrast, last year DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek Forever After generated 60% of its opening-weekend revenues from 3D, even though it was on 343 fewer 3D screens, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett notes. Wall Street’s most vocal critic of 3D — BTIG’s Richard Greenfield — reiterated his “sell” recommendation for DreamWorks Animation and lowered his 2011 earnings estimate for the company to $1.54 a share, from $1.81. The company’s movies “have not lived up to expectations and the global DVD market is in a free fall as consumers continue to shift from buying to renting,” he wrote in a report.
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