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The Week in Review/The Week Ahead: The Universal Fund [UNIVX], Episode 18

Posted by: UNIVX (a.k.a UNIVXFund) on Jan 18, 15:26

Another good week for us, up 9.2%.  However, Ride Along 2 didn't do quite as well as anticipated and we made all of our money on it leading up to release.  Today with the adjust we got dinged, and we'll be dinged again tomorrow about half a mill on the derivatives.  We also made some money on Kevin Hart: What Now? as it went up with RA2, and then sold it once it started to dip back down as the opening week numbers for RA2 started coming in.  Spectral keeps going up without any news items, but it is at a low trading price and it is Legendary, so I've decided to allocate funds into that.  We also made some cash this week on the NominOptions, and are now fully invested in what we can of the AwardOptions, which isn't much.  The Danish Girl continues to tick up, and I'll probably just hold it until the delist so we don't have to eat the transaction fees.

News items haven't had much for us this week, so instead we're fully invested now in the next chunk of releases, Hail, Caesar!, Race, & London Has Fallen.  I'll finish buying up Snow White stock tomorrow when the RA2 derivates cash out, and I'll be looking at Warcraft, Purge 3, and The Secret Life of Pets next.  I'll likely be holding off on My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 until close to release, because that's such a question mark coming out so long after the first one, especially when the first made the lion's share of its take after its first 4 weeks.  Plus, I don't want to remove funds from Neighbors 2, which we've been invested in for awhile and continues to go up, and should see more movement this week with the release of the trailer.

The game for us this spring will mainly continue to be playing our wide releases, since we've got one every 2 weeks or so.  That said, let's look at 3 more properties in the Universal pipeline.


A Dog's Purpose

Dreamworks & Walden Media brings us this story about a canine and the humans it affects over multiple reincarnations.  Walden's big property has been the Narnia franchise, which they're about to do a soft reboot on, and over the last couple of years they've also made The Giver (HSX $38) and Everest (HSX $41).  Lasse Hallstrom's previous 3 pictures were Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (HSX $9), Safe Haven (HSX $63), and The Hundred Foot Journey (HSX $41).  Dog's Purpose probably has a chance of doing really well with a family audience, especially if it's not overly depressing.  And it features Bradley Cooper.  Dog has been on a long decline while it's been in production and is currently trading at $16.  As soon as it gets a release date it should make for a decent buy, considering it will likely have a box office take upwards of $40 and depending on how it lands with audiences.  Even this year's military dog movie Max, which looked pretty terrible and only had a 35% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (though 72% with audiences), grossed $42.5 million.



A dollar stock for a video game adaptation from the writer of Race to Witch Mountain and The Sorcerer's Apprentice, who's seemingly busy right now with Clifford the Big Red Dog.  This probably got the green light when Battleship was being made (it IPO'd back in 2009) and there was a Hollywood obsession with board game and retro video game adaptations.  The performance of Pixels probably didn't help the chances for Asteroids to continue moving forward, and there hasn't been news on it for almost a year when the author of the upcoming Nicolas Hoult racing action-thriller Autobahn was hired to do a rewrite.  In short, I doubt this will ever come out of development limbo, but if it ever does, it'll be a great buy at its current price.



Kevin Hart and Lebron James plan to star in this tale of a Fantasy Basketball Camp in Vegas, but Malcom D. Lee (the Best Man movies and Barbershop: The Next Cut) no longer appears to be attached to direct.  I assume that if this does get made, it will undergo a title change in the wake of Dwayne Johnson's HBO series, but it has yet to move out of the development stage anyway.  Almost 5 years since IPO on this one, it's currently cheap at under $2.  James seems on the upswing after Trainwreck, but only has this and one other property in development (which could be looked at as positive towards the possibility of it getting made), and Hart is always good for box office numbers.  Though there hasn't been news since a non-specific start date last June, I think there's a pretty good chance this could stiil go, and considering the rock-bottom price tag, it wouldn't be a bad gamble.  Certainly a steal if any more news develops.


And that wraps up another week.  Our next release is Hail, Caeser! on February 5th.

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