Thursday, July 30, 2009

DreamWorks on a High

Not from drugs ... but the stock market.

DreamWorks Animation gapped up Wednesday and climbed further in early trade. The stock took out the session highs late in the afternoon and closed up by $2.45 at $31.13. DreamWorks broke out of a 2-month range and set a 10-month high.

The reason I don't always blather on about how awesome Up is, or how Chris Wedge is a freaking genius, is that this dull stock stuff is important.

Because if the studio tanks, the employees that create the product the studio is known for get laid off. So it's a good idea to do some focussing on the economics of animation -- the grosses, the stock price, etc.

Because when the end credits are scrolling, it's about the money, not about the artistry. Sad, but that's the way it works.


Wonkey the Monkey said...

Again with the purist-bashing. I don't see how Dreamworks' financial success makes them bulletproof to artistic criticism, as you often seem to suggest in this blog. Couldn't they make better movies AND keep making buttloads of cash? That's what I want to see.

Steve Hulett said...

Not trying to bash anybody, Monk.

But I get tired of people who talk only of "quality." The problem with that is, quality is important and something to be strived for, but it counts for little if the picture makes no dough.

And good and bad is often in the eye of the beholder. There is, in the end, no "good, better, best." There is only battling opinions.

Box office, however, you can quantify. That's my point.

Added to which DWA makes plenty of quality films.

Anonymous said...

you can quantify box office about as accurately as you can quantify federal monetary policy.

unfortunately, what this corrosive box-office accounting does is reward spending and promote the lowest common denominator. yes, you get lots and lots of jobs out of it. you get larger labor coffers. but you also get stagnant wages which leads directly to decreased worker morale and sinking productivity over the long term, ultimately resulting in company failure and the inevitable fire sale.

but only after the corporate parachutes are handed out, of course. that's capitalism in america - race to the bottom. god help anyone that actually wants to take pride in their work.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was an incoherent rant. Dude, chill. Your life may suck right now, but at least try to make some sense.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you think of Kung Fu Panda etc., the fact is that Dreamworks Animation stock has been wildly undervalued given their boxoffice success. It would make sense if it corrected as it seems to be doing.

Anonymous said...

"Dreamworks Animation stock has been wildly undervalued "

No. The films do well, but they have yet to leverage this into success with ancilliaries. Disney did this beautifully in their heyday, and Pixar does it extremely well (Cars has raked in over 5 billion). You don't see many kids carrying around Shrek or Sinbad toys (although the Road to El Dorado Ken and Ken doll set sold GANGbusters!).

Anonymous said...

Steve isn't saying anything bad about Pixar. In fact, he follows their box office successes as much as the other studios'. He's just saying money is more important for the livelihoods of animators - which is logical and frankly what he really should care about rather than "quality" that we fanboys have the luxury of talking about with no worries everyday. And this is coming from a Pixar fan.

Chill out.

Anonymous said...

Pixar does it extremely well (Cars has raked in over 5 billion).

Cars is the exception. It's generated more ancillary cash flow (not profit, but cash flow) than ALL the other Pixar movies combined. Except for that movie, Pixar always makes a point that they focus on STORY, not on merchandising. Up is a good example of that (at least, I'm not tripping over Carl action figures, and none of my kids is clamoring for a floating house toy).

This is not a knock on Pixar. It's just a fact that neither Pixar nor DreamWorks have focused as much on merchandising and spin offs of their movies as Disney historically has.

Anonymous said...

The undervalue of the DW stock IS based on the FILMS' successes and projected BO, NOT on ancillary stuff like toys. Same goes for Pixar(when it was a stand alone company before the buyout from Disney).

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