“Hedge” your bets? DreamWorks Animation stock due for a trimming?

Amidst the sort of critics-be-damned moviegoing that the world saw over the weekend, much has been said about the state of box office (still trending down, despite such gangbuster grosses) and about the future of Sony. oth02.jpg

But the real story is lost in the blaring Code” headlines: DreamWorks Animation‘s “Over the Hedge” is somewhat lost in the shuffle, much like the company that made it. And like the suburban privet that finds itself on the business end of a weed-whacker in the film, DreamWorks’ share price may be facing quite a trimming in the weeks to come.

Bravo! to the LA TimesJosh Friedman, whose box office story fully takes into account the effect of an “Eh!” opening for “Over the Hedge”:

“Banc of America Securities analyst Michael Savner said he expected the movie, which will face stiff competition when Pixar Animation Studios‘ “Cars” comes out June 9, to generate $140 million to $150 million in the U.S. and Canada and $370 million worldwide. That would make the film, which cost about $80 million to produce, profitable but not the windfall some expected. ‘Over the Hedge wasn’t a bomb,” Savner said, ‘but it may not be the catalyst to energize investors about the DreamWorks story.'”

These are strange times. As the Motley Fool puts it, the guys at DreamWorks Animation are facing a sort of chicken-or-the-egg crisis. Viz,

“Unfortunately, moviegoers are facing a glut of computer-generated releases. That hasn’t stopped ‘Ice Age,’ ‘Toy Story,’ and ‘Shrek’ sequels from topping the originals, but it make me wonder whether a recognized property is now the only way to stand out in the digital crowd.”

In other words, unless it’s a sequel, don’t bother.

Um, run that by me again? How does Hollywood make the hit sequels if it doesn’t make the hits first?