Analyst Bearish on ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’

'Kung Fu Panda 2'

Tony Wible says DWA sequel tracking along the lines of “Flushed Away.”

The big splash the cast of Kung Fu Panda 2 is making at the Cannes Film Festival doesn’t impress one influential Wall Street analyst, who slashed his prognosis of the film on Thursday because he thinks DreamWorks Animation is skimping on its marketing effort.

Using lots of online metrics, Janney Capital Markets analyst Tony Wible has determined that consumers aren’t aware of or just aren’t interested in Kung Fu Panda 2 to the degree they ought to be.

He predicts the May 26 release will earn $245 million domestically, $20 million less than he previously predicted. Plus, he knocked $63 million from his worldwide estimate, now at $765 million.

Wible said that Internet search activity related to Kung Fu Panda 2 is below X-Men: First Class, Cars 2 and The Green Lantern, even though Kung Fu Panda 2 opens before those three competitors.

Wible noted that, two weeks ahead of its release, Kung Fu Panda 2 was 258th on the IMdB index. At the same point ahead of the release of the first installment, Kung Fu Panda was 60th.

The movie, says Wible, is “tracking with misses” like Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Flushed Away, “two of the studio’s biggest disappointments."

However, even if Kung Fu Panda 2 performs at Wible’s lowered levels, it would still outdo the original, which was released in June 2008 and earned $215 million domestically and $631 million worldwide.

Wible says “fair value” on DWA stock is $27 a share. It closed fractionally lower Thursday at $26.03.