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The Week in Review/The Week Ahead: The Universal Fund [UNIVX], Episode 7

Posted by: UNIVX (a.k.a UNIVXFund) on Oct 29, 13:14

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What an incredible bust Steve Jobs was.  And I thought the stock was going to outperform expectations.  I reversed position and we made a couple of mill on it, but in hindsight I wish I'd made the switch sooner.  We also ended up on the wrong side of the derivates, as those were halted before the low analyst figures began to hit.  However, we were on the right side of Jem and the Holograms and its derivates, so that translated to pure profit.  We're also making cash on shorted limited releases, including last weekend's Suffragette.  Right now we're up 9.8% from last week at this time.

No new releases next week, and the fund is already fully short on wide releases By the Sea and Sisters, and long on Krampus, The Forest, and Race.

Let's look beyond those to the next 3 Universal releases.


The Boss (Michelle Darnell)

It's the latest from Melissa McCarthy and her writer/director husband Ben Falcone.  I like McCarthy as a performer, but not so much her husband.  He was also responsible for Tammy, so expect this to be much the same.  Tammy made $84 million, and while McCarthy may have burned some audience good will with it, her middle America audience seems surprisingly resilient.  Even if we mark $84 million as a ceiling, The Boss is currently trading far below that at $34.58.

The Huntsman

The sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman features a more central role for Chris Hemsworth.  Charlize Theron and Sam Clafin also return, and then in place of Kristen Stewart the franchise adds Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt.  Director Rupert Sanders has also been replaced, by visual effects artist Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who has worked a lot with Gore Verbinski, including on The Ring and the first two Pirates movies, and who also did some second unit directing on the first Snow White film as well as on Maleficent.  Frank Darabont worked on the script this time around.  All of this looks good on paper, but it's unclear how much of the Twilight audience will abandon ship without Stewart on board.  But I'd wager it will still be close to the first installment's $155 million, and it's currently trading at $65.


Ratchet & Clank

A huge wild card to me at this point.  The video games were wildly successfully, but the first trilogy released over 10 years ago on the PS2.  The most recent game, Into the Nexus, will be roughly 3 years old by the time of release, and it feels like they missed their ideal target for this film by 5-10 years.  Still, they've played things smartly by keeping their primary voice cast from the video games while adding big names like John Goodman, Paul Giamatti, Sylvester Stallone, Rosario Dawson, and Bella Thorne.  The animation looks pretty sharp from the trailers, but still not up to Pixar standards.  I think we'll need to gauge where Ratchet and Clank hype is closer to release, but as perhaps an early marker it can be noted that one of the co-workers previously worked on Arthur Christmas and Space Chimps.  Those two films averaged $38 million domestically.  Ratchet is currently trading at $26, so there's probably at least some upside, but I don't expect this to come anywhere near Pixar or Dreamworks numbers.

The fund's next release (and next wide releases) is By the Sea on November 13th.


Tag(s): UNIVX

The Week in Review/The Week Ahead: The Universal Fund [UNIVX], Episode 7   UNIVX on Oct 29, 13:14

Please ignore the giant html coding paragraph; there's no way for me to edit or delete the post {nm}   UNIVX on Oct 29, 13:17





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