Monday, December 15, 2014

My Miscalculation

SO today the trades say

... DreamWorks Animation shares are down about 5.9% in mid-day trading after Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil slashed his forecast for its latest film Penguins of Madagascar and projected that it will end up losing $49 million vs. his previous prediction for a $15 million loss. On Friday B. Riley’s Eric Wold also lowered his estimates, and predicted a write-off for the quarter. ...

AND Cartoon Brew goes

... Penguins of Madagascar hit an ignominious milestone: on Friday, its 17th day of release, its domestic gross was surpassed by the Rise of the Guardians, the notorious DreamWorks underperformer that was released at the same time in 2012. Adjusted for inflation, the Penguins audience is even smaller than Guardians’s audience. ...

Therefore my calculation of $105-$135 million in domestic grosses looks a teensy bit off.

The picture isn't going to hit a multiple of four (4) in the U.S. of A., which means DreamWorks Animation has some long thoughts to wade through. Penguins was shifted (in part) because wise studios heads thought it would perform better running up to Christmas than in March 2015.


Every studio has its ups and downs. Disney went through a rough patch at the turn of the century where it created very few films that connected with the public. At the same time, DreamWorks had a large and stable staff turning out one money-maker after another. And now it's Walt Disney Animation Studios that's on a roll, while DWA isn't achieving lift-off with the majority of its releases.

When you're around animation for a while, you understand that the studios in the industry are much like pistons in an engine: one of them is up while another is down, it's just the way he business seems to be. The difficulty is, DWA isn't part of a monster conglomerate like its competition. And that spells TROUBLE, right here in L.A. city.


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