First up is Eddie Murphy, he of the once-raunchy comedies, starring in Imagine That (IMGTH), about an executive who discovers that his daughter has a magical blanket that helps him turn his life around. Or something wholesome and heartwarming like that. The LA Times analyzed its prospects in an article that is fairly harsh. However, I did discover a good new Website, www.moviereviewintelligence.com, which aggregates movie reviews, but does so in a much more analytical and comprehensive way than Rotten Tomatoes. So that was good.
The stock is at H$38, up H$2 today, but that's down from H$50. Strike price is H$15, which now sounds way too optimistic. The call is below a buck, and the put is at H$4. So the market is thinking somewhere around $10 million for the weekend. Little girls is a fairly narrow demographic, even if you include their parents. The First Parents might be tempted to see it, since they are in the target demographic, insofar as they are still in any demographic but their own, but I doubt Barack and Michelle will be tempted to make this a date night. It's at 31% on rottentomatoes.com, and the positive reviews are just barely that. It's on 2,800 screens, a good wide release, but I don't think that's going to matter. Eddie Murphy's career is running on fumes at this point. I'm going with $9 million.
Next up is The Taking of Pelham 123 (TP123), starring Denzel Washington, who has never been less than a star, and John Travolta, who has had his ups and downs in terms of movie-stardom. I have to say that I am impressed by the trailer, the casting, and the concept. The fact that it takes place in a subway car gives it a nice claustrophobic feel. That also means that there isn't much room for action, which means that the tension will, hopefully, be between our two leads. The stock is at H$73, down H$3 today, and down from a high of H$82. In other words, the stock has stayed high, but hasn't been moving up dramatically. Strike price is H$30, which looks right. The call is floating near H$4, while the put is - this is a little odd - in basically the same territory. Hmmmm. Mixed signals there. It's at 41% on rottentomatoes.com, with the positive reviews fairly tepid, and the negative reviews scorching. More hmmm. I'm getting a little nervous about this one. Denzel Washington and John Travolta are both stars, but stars haven't been selling movies this year. I'm thinking $25 million would be a good bet.
Well, I got everything right. That's a nice feeling. IMGTH is clearly a bomb, only pulling in $5.7 million. TP123 looks solid, but not a breakout hit; I nailed the prediction exactly. At least according to the numbers as of now. We'll see what the final numbers are tomorrow, but right now, it feels good to have my numbers match so close to what is being reported.
And, of course, the Lakers won the NBA Championship tonight!