Just two movies this week. First up is an "urban," i.e. African-American, comedy, "Next Day Air" (NDAIR), about a shipment of cocaine that ends up delivered to the wrong apartment. That has all kinds of possibilities. I don't know some of the actors involved, but Mos Def is one of them, and I like him. Not much to go on, I realize. The stock is at H$17.17, slightly off the high of about H$19. Trend has been mostly upwards. Strike price is H$5, utterly realistic, with the call at H$2 and change, and the put between H$1 and H$2. It's at 18% at rottentomatoes.com, which doesn't really matter. It's only going out to 1,138 screens, but it only needs a PSA of about $5,600 to make the price of the stock. I've seriously underestimated the last two black movies I wrote about, Madea Goes to Jail and Obssessed, so I am going to try to avoid making that mistake this time around. Let's go with $7-$8 million.
Counterprogramming against this (or maybe it's the other way around) is Star Trek (TRK11). Nothing fancy about the title, no references to the fact that this is a restart, just the name of the original TV show. The buzz is great, possibly bigger than that for Wolverine, although a Trekker (Trekkie?) friend of mine is somewhat conflicted. She's hopeful, but wasn't impressed with the trailer. I just watched it again, and realized that Star Trek has never been macho, but this trailer makes it look like this will be more of a manly movie than any previous incarnation. But that's the impression that I get from a hyper-edited, very fast-paced clip, so I could be wrong. The reviews are almost uniformly good; it's at 93% on rottentomatoes.com, which is almost unheard of. Wow. Current price is H$185, down slightly from the high, which it apparently hit yesterday. Strike price is H$65, which is in line with the price of the stock, but I think both are low. The call is at almost H$11, which predicts an opening weekend north of $75 million, and a stock above H$200. Put, of course, is about as low as can go, below half a buck. I find it odd that the price of the stock is lagging expectations of the call so dramatically, but the buzz has been great. It's on 3,849 screens, so it needs to make about $17,800 to make the stock price, and $19,400 to make the call. That's a nice chunk of change, particularly since it is still in competition with Wolverine. But by no means impossible. The one problem could be that this movie might appeal more to older audiences than young ones, and that those older folks, i.e. the one who have been watching for 40 years, might not come on opening weekend. Possible, but I doubt it. Everyone knows Star Trek. Not everybody loves it, but everybody knows it. I'm going to go with somewhere between $75 and $80 million.
Put: As short as you possibly can.
Update Friday morning: NDAIR is down H$1.30 this morning, not a good sign. I'm sticking with it. I did some research yesterday on where this movie is playing. I checked out some Magic Johnson theaters to see how many screens it's on. I checked out theaters in Harlem, Maryland, and Atlanta. In all three, it's on two screens. I assume that Magic Johnson knows a lot more about the tastes of the urban market than I do, or just about anyone else in the country, so I am going to trust his judgment on this one. TRK11 is up H$5, boldly going into the stratosphere. This one sure looks like it is going to live long and prosper.
Update Monday morning: Looks like I learned the wrong lessons about urban films - NDAIR did, in fact, tank, as the price Friday morning indicated. Not a great loss, tho. TRK11 did about as well as expected, $76.5 million. Very close to the prediction of the stock price and the call. Can't wait to see it, myself.