Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 16, 2010: Inception, Standing Ovation

There are two movies opening tomorrow. One of them is one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year, featuring an A-list star, and an A-list director. The other is a movie that few people have ever heard of, starring total unknowns.

Let's get the wannabe out of the way first. Standing Ovation (STNOV) is about some tween girls who just want to sing and dance, and live their dream. I can't begin to imagine that the plot is remotely interesting, but I'm also years away from being remotely in touch with the target demographic, so what do I know? The trailer seems well-done, which is a plus. I researched the team on IMDb, and it's not a particularly impressive group, but the director and producer have worked together before, always a plus. Stock is at H$4.47, which might be a tad optimistic. There isn't much to go on here. No options, not a surprise. There are only two reviews on RT, both negative. Again, not much to go on. It is going out on 623 screens, which counts as a wide release (600 is the threshold for a wide release). Strike price indicates an opening weekend of $1.65 million. It would need a per screen average of about $2,600 to hit that. It needs about 330 people per screen. Assuming 15 screenings per theater over the course of this weekend (5 per day for 3 days), that means they need at least 22 people per screening. That doesn't sound impossible. I'm sure there are a few hundred thousand screaming teenage girls who can convince their parents to take them to see this.
Stock: Long

Now we come to the blockbuster, Inception (INCPT). Boy does this look interesting. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and directed by Christopher Nolan, who should have a much bigger reputation than that M. Night guy. A movie based on an original idea! How cool is that?!? A movie with CGI that is actually justified by the plot. Wow. Stock has been rising pretty steadily, to a current H$191. That's down from a high of H$215, but that's not much of a drop. It's been incredibly volatile of late, down H$8 yesterday, up H$11 today. The price suggests an opening weekend of at least $70 million. Critics are very enthusiastic, with an 87% rating on RT. Strike price is H$75, with the call (INCPCA) not much above the IPO, at H$2.52 and sinking. The put (INCPPU) is doing quite well, almost at H$5. Strike price for the Blockbuster Warrant is H$200, and the warrant is well above IPO, at H$13. I am very optimistic about this movie, and I don't see much reason not to be. It may be a difficult concept to understand, but I think there are a fair number of people who will be thrilled to see a movie with an original plot. It's long, 2 1/2 hours, which might cut into the number of screenings, but it's also going out on 3,700+ screens.
Stock: Long
Call: Long
Put: Short
BW: Long

Update Friday morning: Inception is down H$5 this morning, but, considering how volatile it has been, that's not surprising. This seems to be one of those very polarizing movies - if you get it, you'll love it, but if you don't, you'll hate it. I'm guessing more people will get it, and they will really love it. Still going long. Standing Ovation is down H$0.39 today, which is about a 10% drop. That's not a great sign. The stock has had an interesting ride - it's spiked on several occasions, obviously on significant news - for example, actually getting a release date. But then it invariably drops. Not sure what that means, but it's interesting to note. But it still has minimal expectations. I'm not real confident, but still going long.

Update Sunday night: I don't know why I stayed long with a movie that obviously was drivel at best, but I did, and therefore got burned by Standing Ovation. I also was a little too optimistic about Inception - it cleared $60 million, below the strike price, and below the stock price. But the response has been so great that I don't mind losing money on it. Sorcerer's Apprentice basically bombed, coming in at only $17 million for the weekend, plus $7 million previous, so it adjusted down, from H$85 to H$54. A good weekend to be pessimistic, not a great weekend for me. But a good weekend for movies in general, apparently - a great movie made money, a bad movie bombed, and a piece of garbage was toasted. That works for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment