Only two movies opening this weekend. First and foremost is Fast and Furious (FFUR4), number 4 in the franchise. The original cast members from the first movie return, presumably older and wiser and, for some reason, with less use for the definite article in the title of their movie. Originally, it was "The Fast and The Furious," now it's just "Fast and Furious." I'm not sure what precipitated the change from nouns to adjectives. I sort of preferred the original. Not that I've seen any of the movies.
The stock is bumping the roof, hitting H$121 today, up H$7.50. I can't remember the last time I saw that kind of an increase the day before a movie's release. It's also a new high. Strike price is H$40, with the call at H$5.77, and the put at H$1.04, right where it should be. I shorted the stock of the original movie, and was seriously burned when it adjusted upwards by something like H$50. Never going to forget that one. Not doing that again. The stock predicts an opening of about $45 million, as does the call. The critics are not liking the retread thing; it's at 18% at rottentomatoes.com. But somehow I am not worried about what critics think about this movie. It's on 3,400 screens, a nice wide release. Needs to gross about $13,000 per screen to make $45 million. I'm going to go there.
Next up is Adventureland (ADVNL), also staring young people and, one would assume, adventure, but, as is to be expected, rather on the opposite end of the cultural spectrum from Vin Diesel and friends. This one looks like an indie comedy coming-of-age thing. Might be funny, although the trailer didn't grab me. Stock is floating in the low H$20's, with no real trend in evidence. Floating. Strike price is H$5, fairly minimal, with the call at H$4 and the put below H$1. Also at the opposite end of the spectrum from the cars-and-chicks crowd are the critics, who are practically swooning, giving it an 86% approval rating at rottentomatoes.com. That can't hurt. The plot revolves around a guy who has a summer job at an amusement park and learns important lessons in life. Every generation needs to learn those lessons. I was at an amusement part exactly a week ago (Disneyland), with my cousin, who happened to have a summer job once at an amusement park (Cedar Point). He mentioned that the hot girls tended to have the cool jobs at the great rides, because that's where the teenage boys congregated. A smidgen of synchonicity in my life. Let's be optimistic, and think in terms of a $7-$8 million opening weekend.
Update Sunday night: Wow, that was interesting. I don't think I have seen a movie this badly underestimated since Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ. Did I say a $45 million opening weekend? Did I say that? Bump that up by about 60%, a nice round extra $27 million, so we're at $72 million. It adjusted up by H$69. That's very nice. If I were Vin Diesel, I would announce my retirement tomorrow. Dude, it's all downhill from here.
Adventureland was not quite so adventurous, posting good numbers for an indie comedy, $6 million, but that was at the low end of expectations. It adjusted down by H$7. Not a major loss, but a loss. It will probably still be successful.
One nice aspect of a major adjustment upwards is that it acts almost like a mini-stimulus package. As people start dumping the stock, they take all the money that they made, and start buying other stocks. Since I own every stock on the exchange, that's generally good for me.