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The Week in Review/The Week Ahead: The Universal Fund [UNIVX], Episode 28

Posted by: UNIVX (a.k.a UNIVXFund) on Mar 29, 18:40 in response to UNIVX's post The Week in Review/The Week Ahead: The Universal Fund...

Aaaaand this past week we were down a whopping 7%.  There were a number of reasons for this, but the main one was My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.  I did not expect it to do very well on opening weekend.  The first one never had a huge weekend-- it made its money over a long period of release and steadily grew through word-of-mouth.  My guess was that between the first one never having an audience that showed up all at once and in droves, and the fact that that film released over 10 years ago, that this sequel was not going to perform in line with its pre-opening weekend trading price.  The early reviews were also not kind, and the trailers were not encouraging.  So I had the stock shorted as we headed into the weekend, and by the time it became obvious MBFGW2 was going to do even better than early estimates and I flipped it, we'd already lost a big chunk of change and were locked in on the wrong side of opening weekend derivatives.

I don't see too many surprises ahead for the rest of this HSX season, and I think most of our wide releases are going to perform favorably from here on out.  But they're already trading at very respectable prices, and I don't think we're going to have a huge breakout hit for the fund.  So the name of the game for the remaining 5 months is going to be holding the wides we have and playing whatever else is moving in the portfolio for good reason.  I definitely have some ground to make back up after recent losses.  Now, moving forward...


Liam Neeson as a Texas Ranger seems a pretty easy sell these days, and John Lee Hancock is a solid director with the likes of The Rookie, The Alamo, and The Blind Side under his belt.  And the man certainly knows Texas.  But imdb no longer has Neeson attached, and there hasn't been news since the IPO in July 2014.  Perhaps its the fact that Neeson's Ranger is in pursuit of Bonnie and Clyde that has the project stalled out.  There was that 2013 mini-series with Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger, and I think the public may just be somewhat tired of the two at this point; their story has become overtold and iconic enough that it's almost too familiar to generate the kind of interest a studio probably wants.  Hancock's The Founder comes out in August, and he has 4 projects in development including this one.  It might pay off to watch what happens at that time and see what Hancock decides to focus on next.  Considering the time Hancock takes between projects, I'd guess that if there's no movement on Highwaymen then, it's probably a dead deal, at least with Hancock at the helm.

In a Valley of Violence

This one's a wrap.  It's a Ti West picture, but with bigger stars than he's ever had before-- including Ethan Hawke and Karen Gillan, though the involvement of John Travolta may not bode well.  This one's releasing through Focus via Blumhouse, so the question becomes whether or not it will indeed get a theatrical release and a marketing push, or a dump on VOD as some of the other Blumhouse pictures have received.  My bet is that it does get a theatrical- so yes, I would recommend buying it and seeing what happens.  News of even a mid-range theatrical release will probably immediately pop this up into the $10-15 range.  Blumhouse has 6 Miranda Drive coming out in May with Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell, then Incarnate in late September with Aaron Eckart.  It's possible that Valley will follow up in the fall or early 2017.

Indian Summer


This film was to star Cate Blanchett and be directed by Joe Wright.  It had an IPO in 2009 and hasn't had any news since 2012.  It's no longer listed on Wright's imdb page with his other 4 in-development projects, and one has to think he's lost some Hollywood cache after Pan.  IMDB still has it listed, but I think it's pretty safe to write this one off (in its current form at the very least).

So that wraps up another episode and puts us back on track again.  Universal's next wide release is The Boss on April 8th.

Tag(s): UNIVX

The Week in Review/The Week Ahead: The Universal Fund [UNIVX], Episode 27   UNIVX on Mar 29, 17:50

The Week in Review/The Week Ahead: The Universal Fund [UNIVX], Episode 28   UNIVX on Mar 29, 18:40

In a Valley of Violence is a Focus World release later this year. {nm}   Antibody on Mar 30, 17:37

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