Have you been wondering lately whatever happened to Alison Lohman? For a while there, she was the hot new thing, then she disappeared for several years. Or at least she seemed to. I've been thinking about her lately. I liked her in Matchstick Men, although I wasn't a fan of the movie itself, because the ending was terrible. Now she's back, in a horror movie - sorry, "supernatural thriller," "Drag Me To Hell" (DRAGM). Not much subtlety with that title! Sam Raimi, director of Spider-Man and The Evil Dead, returns to his roots. I'm sure as heck scared of the trailer, but then again I have all kinds of trouble suspending disbelief when I watch one of these, so scaring me with just the trailer is actually not that hard. The stock is doing quite well today, up more than H$2, to H$57, its high. The strike price is H$20, and the call is up solidly, to H$4, which predicts a stock price of around H$65. The put is not doing too badly, either, which is a shade surprising. It's at H$2, up 3/8 today. That sounds like noise and feels like normal trading. It's at 94% on rottentomatoes.com. We're in Star Trek territory here. It's on 2,508 screens. Unless there are very different signals tomorrow, I think we can afford to be optimistic, and toss out $25 million as a prediction. Possibly higher. The man has been developing a cult following for roughly as long as Alison Lohman has been alive.
Counterprogramming against Sam Raimi is Disney/Pixar with "Up" (UP), the latest of their animated movies. They are also, as usual, counterprogramming against Hollywood in general with a movie that doesn't seem to have many cliches or obvious plot twists or even a normal premise. It's about a guy who attaches a bunch of balloons to his house and floats away, with a little boy who has sort of stowed away. The stock is at H$168, down about a half today, and off from a high of H$175. Not surprising; every Pixar brings with it a huge amount of hype, becase, well, of Pixar's rather amazing track record. So I think that's normal noise. The strike price is H$60, with the call at H$5 and change, down 3/4 today. Again, I think that's noise. The put, "UPPU," possibly the only palindromic stock symbol in the history of HSX, is floating above H$2, marginally up today. Again, noise, I think. The stock predicts an opening weekend of $62 million. It's at 98% on rottentomatoes.com. It's on 3,766 screens, including about 1,500 3D screens, which rake in even more money. Last weekend, Night At The Museum raked in $70 million (albeit over 4 days) and it's not even a particularly good movie. This should make $60 million easily. Do I hear $65? Sure, why not.
UPdate Friday morning: Both stocks are strongly up this morning, and the options are moving in the expected directions. I'm sticking with my forecast.
Looks like my enthusiasm for UP had a little too much influence on my enthusiasm for DRAGM. UP did, in fact, adjust up. It cleared $68 million for the weekend, beating the strike price handily. DRAGM, however, did $16.6 million, well below the strike price. I called everything on UP right, and everything on DRAGM wrong. Hmmm. Not quite sure what went wrong there. Maybe Sam Raimi does not have quite the fan base among horror aficianadoes that I thot. Stuff to think about. But looking forward to seeing UP!