Thursday, August 20, 2009

Inglorious Basterds and Some Other Movies

It's still August, and this week we have an odd mix: one dumping-ground something or other, a family movie, and a Quentin Tarantino movie, which of course is neither being dumped, nor is it a family movie.

The movie that is being released in August only because this is a time when movies that aren't going anywhere get released, is "Post Grad" (POSTG), starring Alexis Bledel, late of the Gilmore Girls, as a twenty-something who is trying to figure out what to do with her life post-college. I sympathize; it was a very torturous, extremely drawn-out process for me. But I also have no interest in this movie, which looks utterly generic, including the standard issue boy trouble. It's nice to see a woman in a leading role, but in the poster, she looks 13. The stock is at H$11, and sinking. The strike price is H$5, and even that is optimistic. The call (PSGCA) is at H$1.22, and I'm surprised it's that high. The put (PSGPU)is at H$2.78. And that's for a strike price of H$5. It's at 7% on, and I don't care how many screens it's on.
Stock: Short
Call: Short
Put: Long

Robert Rodriguez returns to the big screen with another movie for kids, "Shorts" (SHORT). Rodriguez made a great, surreal kids movie with wonderful special effects once. It was called "Spy Kids," and it was a lot of fun. Then he made two sequels. The first sequel was not bad. The second sequel, the third movie in the series, was one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and it was clear that Rodriguez is one of the most self-centered, egotistical directors on the planet. Which is saying something. Shorts looks like it might be funny, but I just don't trust the man. The stock is at H$32, down from a recent high of H$42. The strike price is H$15, which was realistic a week ago, and absurd today, unless the stock picks up about 10 points tonight. It's on 3,105 screens, a fairly wide release, but it's also at 36% on, and I don't see it picking up much of an audience outside of small children and their families. I have a feeling every kid over about 12 will think this is childish. Rather limits the potential box office.
Stock: Short
Call: Short
Put: Long
Now we get to the good part. The last time Quentin Tarantino and Rodriguez released a movie on the same weekend, they did it together, the bizarre experiment of a double feature in one movie, "Grindhouse." I didn't see it, mostly because it bombed, but also because it sounded silly and an exercise in egotism. This time Rodriguez is releasing a candy-colored confection, and Tarantino is releasing another bloody extravaganza, "Inglorious Basterds" (BSTRD). Brad Pitt plays an American leading a group of Jews hunting Nazis in WWII. As seems to be the case with so many of QT's movies, it's generating both heat and criticism. The stock, naturally, has been quite volatile, trending mostly down recently, down from a high of H$115 to the current H$72. The strike price is H$25, a reasonable guess. The call (IBSCA) is H$5+, which seems a little out of whack. That predicts a $30 million opening weekend, or an adjust to about H$80. Rather doubtful. The put (IBSPU) is at the opposite end of the spectrum, at H$1. It's at 87% on RT, and that matters, since QT is such a critics' darling. It's on 3,165 screens, wide enough to make Harvey's Weinstein's dreams of a comeback come true. One fact stands out: Quentin Tarantino, at his best, is a damn good director.
Stock: Long
Call: Long
Put: Short

Note: There is a fourth wide release this weekend, X Games 3d (XGM3d), but it's a documentary being released for one week only, so not much action in terms of HSX. It's at H$3 and change, with, of course, no options. Short.

Update Friday morning: POSTG is down H$1.69, which doesn't seem like much, but is about 16%, a significant drop. Looks like whatever buzz it had - and it had essentially none - is disappearing fast. SHORT is down H$2.75, or 9%, so same story. BSTRD is down $2, or about 3%, which feels like noise, but does continue the downward trend. One thing I forgot is that it's quite long, 2 1/2 hours, which limits the number of screenings. But it's on so many screens I don't think that is going to matter. So no change in any positions.

Update Sunday afternoon: Everything went exactly as I predicted, but even more so. POSTG did, in fact, completely bomb, dropping H$1.42 to H$7.56. You know a movie is going to evaporate from the public consciousness when it adjusts down, and it's already below H$10. SHORT dropped even more, although that was only because it had farther to go; it adjusted to H$17, down H$11. People are going to start wondering if it will even make back its production budget. BSTRD, on the other hand, did exceptionally well, adjusting up H$30 to H$101. However, there was a significant dropoff from Friday to Saturday for QT's latest, so the crowds aren't as excited about this as the critics. I'm going to hold it short until delist.

No comments:

Post a Comment