Tuesday, November 25, 2008

HSX: Thanksgiving Weekend

Because of Thanksgiving weekend, the movies opening this weekend are opening tomorrow, Wednesday. HSX is using a different formula for the adjust, using a multiplier of 2.0 instead of the normal 2.8.

The three movies opening this weekend are Australia, Baz Lurhmann's epic ode to his homeland, Four Christmases, a romantic comedy about the holidays, and Transporter 3, Jason Statham's latest butt-kicking delivery experience.

It's a nicely diverse crowd, all solidly mainstream, with something comfortable for everyone. There are no surprises in the options; all of the calls are trading high, mostly above the prices for the stocks, but that's normal. There's some profit-taking going on with Australia and Transporter, but, again, nothing really out of the ordinary.

Of the three, Four Xmases is the highest flyer. The stock is trading around H$70, with a strike price of H$35. It's been volatile on a day-to-day basis, but fairly stable over the last two weeks. There are no contracts on Intrade, which is probably not surprising. Best Picture contracts are up, though, and Slumdog Millionaire is already a favorite.

Australia and Transporter are both trading around H$40, which is right where Transporter has been, but down from a high of H$53 for Australia. Not terribly high expectations for Ms. Kidman and Mr. Jackman. I think it's underpriced; the plot looks fairly predictable, but that could be a virtue; you know what you're going to get. Which is also, of course, a perfect description of a Jason Statham movie: you know EXACTLY what you are going to get. There certainly isn't the kind of downside for Australia that there was for Bolt.

None of them are doing well on rottentomatoes.com, but that's not a surprise. It's also a little early to get a good critical read, although the 25% for 4 Xmases is lower than I was expecting. I like the idea of pairing Reese Witherspoon with Vince Vaughn. I think they could be good together; I have good gut instincts about their chemistry.

The Box Office Derby on Boxofficemojo.com is only playing the prediction game for Fri-Sun, although they are not accepting submissions after midnight tonight. They are predicting Australia at $19.4 for Fri-Sun, which would put it at probably $28 for the entire weekend. That's much more optimistic than HSX. I'm not a huge fan of Box Office Derby because I think predictions run a little high, but I'm taking this as a good sign. They have 4 Xmases at $24.9, which is close to the HSX prediction, and Transporter at $15.5, again, fairly close to HSX.

The only one of these that has a Blockbuster Warrant is Four Christmases, which has a strike price of $80. That's practically a gimme. It's trading at H$14, which might still be cheap.

I did just notice that there is some easy money to be made on a couple of the other Blockbuster Warrants. Bolt has a strike price of $120, which now looks ridiculous. It's at H$4.48, i.e. taking a while to drift down to H$0.06, which is where it is going to end up. Talk about easy pickings. Twilight also has a strike price of H$120, which it should blow past in the next couple of weeks. The price of that is H$23, still quite cheap.

Bottom line, don't expect any surprises this weekend, and I hope you bought all of these a long time ago, because I don't think there is much of a chance to make much money this weekend. I'm holding everything long, going long on the calls, and shorting the puts.

Wednesday morning update: All three are trading up this morning, between H$2 and H$4. Looks good for the weekend!

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