Here’s more sign of trouble for the 3D movie business. The stock price for the 3D technology company dropped about 12% in initial trading this morning after it reported that films on its screens generated $291M at global box offices in June, with 54% from U.S. venues. That’s a much lower number than analysts expected, and means RealD’s box office results are down about 10% in the quarter vs the same period last year. The problem is that consumers are “becoming increasingly choosy about which 3D movies they will pay a premium for given the significant ramp in 3D titles available,” says B. Riley analyst Eric Wold who just lowered his stock price target for RealD to $15 from $16.25. He’s given up his belief that 3D sales were missing the mark because theaters had too few 3D screens. Wold says that he has “confirmed with 4 of the top 5 domestic exhibitors that no additional 3D screens are needed to meet demand.” And he warns that this “could be a leading indicator of international trends.” RealD’s June report also rattled Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil. He expected to see $463M from global box offices, with 46% from the U.S. — and just lowered his stock price target to $15 from $20. He had recommended the shares in the belief that the company would see strong growth overseas while the domestic market remained stable. The latest numbers “fly in the face of both of those views,” he says although he’s waiting to see the July results before he decides whether to abandon his “buy” recommendation.
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