Thursday, May 14, 2009

HSX: Week of May 15, 2009

Only one movie opening this weekend, but it's a doozie. We're getting metaphysical with Tom Hanks and Ron Howard as they struggle with Angels & Demons (ANDEM). That's a nice big title. It's the sequel to The Da Vinci Code, which made a bazillion dollars a couple of years ago. Anticipation for this one has been quite high. Maybe too high: the stock is at H$150, down from the high of H$175, and down more than H$8 today. The strike price is H$60, which is a good price, given the history of the stock, but I think it's a little high. The call is above H$5, but down more than a buck today, while the put is at H$2.78, up H$1 today. All three securities are sending signals that the movie is going to open below the strike price. I have the same gut instinct. It's opening on 3,527 screens, which is actually less than both Wolverine and Star Trek will have out there this week. It's getting crowded out there. It needs a PSA of about $15,700 to make the stock price. Eminently possible, I suppose, but I'm not that excited about it. Neither are the critics; it's at 40% on, with the critics writing what I could have predicted; it's solidly professional, but highly convoluted, and not that interesting. About what you expect from Tom Hanks and Ron Howard; the high end of middlebrow. What the critics think might actually matter a bit this time, because this is very much a movie aimed at adults. I don't think it's going to bomb, but I don't think it's going to set the world on fire. I also notice that Audrey Tautou is missing, replaced by an Israeli actress. I'm sure Ayelet Zurer (AZURE - great bond symbol) is good, but I'm equally sure she was not that expensive to hire for this production. Sigh. Yet another blown chance to give a great part to an actress as famous as the men. I'm thinking somewhere around $55 million for this opening.
Stock: Short
Call: Short
Put: Long

Update Monday morning: Tom Hanks and Ron Howard don't have quite the magic they did the first time around, snagging $48 million, way below the strike price. So I got it right on all counts. Good feeling. Helped me move up one spot in the rankings. On the other hand, it did quite well internationally, bringing in $104 million. $152 million in one weekend. Pretty good for an adult drama.

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