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The Week in Review/The Week Ahead: The Universal Fund [UNIVX], Episode 9

Posted by: UNIVX (a.k.a UNIVXFund) on Nov 15, 16:10

Apologies for the late report.  Lots of stuff going on in my personal life, and the site seems to be having lots of problems timing out on loading screens and making trades, which has slowed down my productivity on here.  And there's not too much to report anyway.  Warcraft didn't surge forward on news of the trailer as I'd hoped, and it seems like HSX traders are more bearish on the stock than I expect general audiences to be.  We did make about $1 million as the stock went up $10 a share, and then I got off and avoided most of the downward slippage (it's since slowly reclimbed to make up the lost ground).  We also made a good chunk of change on announcement regarding the animated Sing, and a little pocket change on the news of Van Helsing's new writers.  And of course, we continued to make cash on the shorting of By the Sea as it went from wide to limited, and then released to harsh reviews while playing in only a handful of theatres.

Other than that, it's a waiting game until Krampus opens wide, playing news items when they hit in the mean time.  And with that, let's shift the focus ahead to the next three 2016 Universal releases.

The Purge 3

I haven't seen either of the first two Purge movies, but from what I've heard, the first was pretty terrible while the second sort-of redeemed the franchise as a B-movie vehicle for Frank Grillo.  As this one again stars Grillo, I'm going to look for Purge 3 to outgross Purge: Anarchy, considering that Purge:Anarchy lost some ground bringing audiences back into the fold and shifting the focus of the series.  The first made $63, the second did $68, and I think with the inclusion of DVD, Blu-Ray, and streaming building audience support, The Purge 3 should make $70-$75 million as a minimum.  The Purge 3 has some room to grow considering it's currently trading close to $40, but we'll see where it sits when it's closer to opening and I have the funds to trade it.

The Secret Life of Pets

An animated film about pets from the director of Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, and The Lorax.  This is one I want to put money into as soon as I can afford to (which likely won't be until after Ride Along 2 opens).  The first Despicable Me hit $190 before it cashed out on HSX, Despicable Me 2 hit $307, and The Lorax did $177.  Animated films from last year without a prior franchise included Home and Inside Out, which did $143 and $285 respectively (though Inside Out had the added boon of being a Pixar film).  Especially considering the subject matter, I think Pets should have no problem doing at least $200, which means plenty of upside to its current $95.

Bourne 5

It's going to do well; we all know that.  Audiences have long been clamoring for the return of Damon and Greengrass to the series.  The last two Damon films did $140 and $185, and the Renner one did $98.  Both Pets and Bourne should be solid hits for Universal next summer, but Bourne is already sitting at $130 and trading much closer to its likely target range.  There could be some portion of the audience, not as vocal, that has simply tired of the series and doens't care if Damon returns.  So I'm going to set a modest projection for Bourne 5 of $150-$175.  If this one goes much higher anytime soon, it may not be worth investing the fund's cash in it by the time we have allotted funds, especially if box office analysts don't predict the film to do significanly better from the range I've just mentioned.

Wishing everyone a good week!  The fund's next release is Legend on November 20th, and next wide release is Krampus on December 4th.

Tag(s): UNIVX

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