DreamWorks shares sink after weak ‘Shrek’ debut

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NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. sank Monday as the latest “Shrek” film turned in a lackluster opening performance.

Though “Shrek Forever After” made more in the U.S. than any other film at the box office this past weekend, it came in well below previous “Shrek” sequels.

DreamWorks shares dropped $3.56, or 10 percent, to $31.31 in morning trading.

In a client note, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said the opening weekend for “Shrek” was especially disappointing given the number of 3-D screens available for the release. Pachter said 2,373 of the 4,359 theaters that showed the movie were 3-D equipped, meaning each movie-goer at those venues paid a premium.

Pachter, who has a “Neutral” rating on DreamWorks shares, said he was expecting “Shrek” to make $120 million. But the movie brought in only $71.3 million, compared with $121.6 million for the opening weekend of “Shrek the Third” and $108 million for “Shrek 2.”

Analysts say “Shrek” could still be a success for DreamWorks.

Jefferies & Co.’s Brian Shipman pointed out in a note to investors that the movie will have little competition over the next four weeks. He kept a “Buy” rating on the stock.