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The Week in Review/The Week Ahead: The Universal Fund [UNIVX], Episode 23

Posted by: UNIVX (a.k.a UNIVXFund) on Feb 22, 13:36

Not too much to report this week.  Race was basically a wash.  When estimates came in low, I flipped it, and we made a little money shorting it, but it remained relatively flat.  Without much going on this week, the fund was up just 2.8%.

In the next 2 months we have London Has Fallen, The Boss, and The Huntsman, which I anticipate should be much more solid performers.  I'm still on the fence about My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, but we're in it long for now until there are signals otherwise.  And Mr. Right of course won't do big business, but could improve on its current few-dollars price.  Moving on to 3 more Universal properties...


The Creed of Violence

Adpated from the novel about an arms smuggling ring and set during the Mexican Revolution, the stock IPO'd in 2011 as a Todd Field project (In the Bedoom, Little Children), but hasn't had news in 4 years and is currently selling for pennies.  Field is an interesting and strange case... a good working actor who transitioned to writing and directing after working with Stanley Kubrick on Eyes Wide Shut.  He stopped acting except sporadically, and hasn't been in anything since 2005.  His first two films as a writer/director were huge critical hits and received Academy Award noms, but after directing those two it's now been ten years.  Field has all but disappeared, and seems to have taken a page from Kubrick in more ways than one.  IMDB still has Creed listed listed in pre-production (as was updated as recently as November)... but Field currently has another project listed as in production, Beautiful Ruins.  It's hard to say whether both of these films will languish in development, or if Ruins is indeed going, and if it is, if any momentum will transfer over to Creed once Ruins nears completion.  I wouldn't recommend Creed as a buy yet, but watching Ruins may yield a good time to jump on this one while it's still dirt cheap.


The Creature From the Black Lagoon

This is a steal at $1.40, and the fund is currently holding it simply because it could receive news any day that it's part of the upcoming Universal monsters project.  I'm actually skeptical of that happening, and I think there are many better properties for Universal to include as part of an initial launch.  But I don't want to miss a $10-20 jump the instant news hits if it does.  Jeff Pinkner was hired to work on the script 6 months ago, and Scarlet Johansson was pursued as the lead 12 months ago, so it appears that Univeral has actually been working on this one.


Clifford the Big Red Dog

Another dollar stock, this one with an IPO back in 2014 and no news in the last year.  While animation can span several quiet years in production, and director David Bowers doesn't have anything else announced on his plate, there's also still no voice/acting talent announced.  It's hard to say if this will move forward or simply die a slow development death, and it's certainly at a cheap price point that makes an investment relatively riskless, but I'd probably recommend holding off buying until theres's at least some peep of news.


Our next release is London Has Fallen, which goes wide March 4th.

Tag(s): UNIVX

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