Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. fell Wednesday after box office forecasters said its animated film "Turbo" could disappoint at the box office.
"Turbo," which features the voice of Ryan Reynolds as a garden snail with dreams of winning the Indy 500, is expected to take in about $35 million over five days in its first weekend, according to early industry projections. The film, which cost $135 million, opens Wednesday.
Cowen & Co. analyst Doug Creutz said in a note to clients that the film was headed for a "very weak" opening, and may be hurt at the box office by this year's glut of summer movies. He noted the fact that two animated features, "Despicable Me 2" and "Monsters University," have done big business recently.
"We have been concerned about the possible impact of a very crowded summer slate on 'Turbo's' likely performance, and our fears appear to be playing out," Creutz wrote. "Our conversations with industry professionals suggest that tracking is very soft."
DreamWorks' stock fell by about 3% to $24.35 at the close of trading in New York Wednesday, after declining nearly 4% earlier in the day. The stock fell 6% Tuesday.
Creutz, who has a "market perform" rating on the stock, lowered his price target for DreamWorks by $1 to $23.
"Turbo" is directed by David Soren and has received generally positive reviews, with a 64% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In her review for the Los Angeles Times, critic Betsy Sharkey wrote: "The film takes a little longer than it should to get everybody to Indianapolis, but that's a minor quibble. Because once we get there, the Indy 500 is wonderfully wild. There are so many ways to crash and smash the cars as they roar around the track. And for a snail, even a super-charged one — you cannot imagine the perils, the pitfalls, the pit crews."
Also opening this weekend are sci-fi action-comedy "R.I.P.D.," which is expected to bomb, and modestly budgeted horror movie “The Conjuring.”
Follow on Twitter: @rfaughnder
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times