Disney shares drop after “Avatar 2” reported a global opening of $441 million

While “Avatar: The Way of Water” is doing well at the box office and glory, Walt Disney’s stock price has yet to recover from the drop in shares apparently caused by a softer-than-expected opening weekend.

Avatar 2’s global opening weekend of $441 million, 16% less than the pre-release hopes for its $525 million worldwide launch, wasn’t big enough for Wall Street. The stock fell from $90.04 last Friday to $85.76 at the market close Monday, lower than any other point in 2022 and close to a 52-week low of $84.69. It has recovered slightly since then, closing Thursday at $86.67.

That’s still below the recent “low point” price of $86.75 on November 9, just days before the release of Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and days before the company shocked the world by removing Bob Chapek as CEO and reinstating Bob Iger. . Role.

The 3D sequel to “Avatar” was expected to open to between $150 million and $170 million in North America, with worldwide projections of $525 million. Still, the film opened to $134 million domestically — plus 74% without adjusting for inflation from the $77 million the original “Avatar” film’s original weekend before December 13th — and $441 million worldwide.

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The film was also tracking a release of more or less $120 million in China, a key overseas market where James Cameron films like “Avatar” ($203 million in 2010) and “Titanic” ($145 million for a 3D re-release in 2012) have thrived. ). However, due to the high number of COVID infections and the changing status quo as most Hollywood films receiving less admissions in China than expected prior to 2020, led to an opening weekend of $57 million and $70 million currently. com.

Stronger debut in China, as well as a slightly larger opening weekend in North America – possibly / in part due to audiences waiting until the holiday break when they can easily get good seats in IMAX, Dolby and related large format (PLF) 3D Correlations – You may have made up the difference between expectations and reality.

This isn’t the first time that Wall Street has penalized a major Hollywood studio for lower-than-expected opening weekends, even for films that would eventually be a strong global hit.

DreamWorks, when it was a publicly traded independent company, developed in mid-2005 both for “Shrek 2” to sell fewer DVDs than expected (35 million copies versus 40 million copies) and in part for expectations that the “Madagascar” (original) animated film The animated non-sequel which took in $60 million over Memorial Day weekend) will soon open with the $128 million debut of “Shrek 2” on Wednesday and Sunday.

Talking Toon will gross $194 million domestic and $542 million worldwide and spawn two sequels, a spin-off and a slew of streaming spin-offs.

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Several years later, on November 25, 2013, Lionsgate shares plunged 10% Monday after the $158 million domestic debut of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” While it’s higher than the $152 million domestic launch of “The Hunger Games” the year before, it was at least below some unexpected $175-185 million projections.

The second Jennifer Lawrence-starring Katniss Everdeen later grossed $425 million domestically (the year’s biggest, besting the $400 million or more of the likes of “Iron Man 3” and “Frozen”) and $865 million worldwide. The world for a $130 million donation.

It remains to be seen if word of mouth is strong and so far post-debut strong (passed $600m worldwide yesterday and could flirt with $900m worldwide by the end of Christmas Day with another week of holiday play and a little competition early in 2023) to mitigate the damages to the shareholders of the company.

Unless the movie is being shown very big in the long run, it’s hard to do when the film’s director has argued excessively that he needs to get $2 billion worldwide to break even, even on a blockbuster (say, passing “Top Gun: Maverick” and $1.49 billion as the year’s biggest global earner) could do little more than return Disney’s stock price to its pre-“Avatar 2” level.

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