The independent studio’s shares are down 4.6% in mid-day trading, and more than 9% since November 2 — their peak over the last 52 weeks — as investors fear that Rise Of The Guardians could fall far short of their expectations. The consensus view among analysts is that the film will generate $58M at domestic box offices over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday, propelling the film to an eventual $170M — with more to come from overseas. Forecasts are all over the lot, though. This morning Susquehanna Financial Group’s Vasily Karasyov projected a $68M five-day domestic box office, headed to $200M. Cowen and Company’s Doug Creutz expects $57M and $160M. And Lazard Capital Markets’ Barton Crockett anticipates $48.4M and $176M. He says the next few days will be a “nail-biter” time for DreamWorks: If Guardians falls short of forecasts then “the movie could be a rare and meaningful money-loser for the studio.” That’s a serious risk. Variety says that tracking reports indicate the film “will hit the $40 million domestic mark over the five-day frame.” Over at the Hollywood Stock Exchange, the value of its virtual shares in Guardians have plummeted more than 25% since mid-October. Just two months ago Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible upgraded his DreamWorks recommendation to “neutral” — and less than two weeks later upgraded again to “buy” — in part because of his belief that “the Guardians is setting up to be a major film.” He projected at the time that it would generate $225M at domestic box offices, and $338M abroad, noting that tracking data “spiked on the release of new trailers.”
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