Guardians Withers, “Pi” Soars At Box-Office

It is surprising how vulnerable some of these big companies are when their estimates are off by just a few million.

While the overall Thanksgiving box-office broke records ($290 million over five days) and proved fruitful for holdovers like “Skyfall” and “Breaking Dawn”, for the three expensive newcomers it wasn’t as rosy a story.

The stock price of DreamWorks Animation was hit hard this morning following the fourth place opening of its $145 million-budget latest feature “Rise of the Guardians”.

‘Guardians’ scored a $32.6 million domestic debut, significantly short of the $55-60 million estimates being thrown around this time last week.

As such, the company is hoping for good word of mouth to get the film’s overall gross up over time, and is doubling down on its promotional push into international markets where presently the competition isn’t as fierce as it as at the U.S. box-office.

Still, ‘Rise’ is being called one of the most disappointing releases in the company’s history, certainly it is the lowest opener for the company since 2006’s “Flushed Away”.

Two years after it was supposed to be released, the long delayed “Red Dawn” remake finally hit cinemas to both scathing reviews and only modest box-office. Scoring $22 million over the five day holiday, the $65 million-budget film reached opening expectations.

How it fares from this point will be interesting to see as the bad reviews won’t sustain domestic grosses. Considering the subject matter, it’s also not expected to have any legs internationally.

One film that should travel very well overseas though is Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi”. Coming in at an expensive $120 million budget, the film scored a $30 million domestic opening along with $17.5 million from four international markets. A very healthy start.