Toys ‘R’ Us is the latest retailer to get into the streaming game with the launch of a digital entertainment service that provides access to over 4,000 movies and TV shows. Content partners for the service include 20th Century Fox, Anderson Digital, Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment, Lionsgate/Summit, Magnolia Pictures, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Phase 4 Films, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Starz Media, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The kid-friendly ToysrusMovies.com will make film titles available day-and-date with retail releases and TV shows will come online the day after broadcast. Certain new releases will be online ahead of going on sale including Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted which is available now but won’t be in stores until Oct. 16. The service can currently be accessed on computers and will expand to include other web-enabled devices in the coming months.
That could result in a nice pop for DreamWorks Animation shares — which closed at $18.01 on Friday — all things being equal. The nearly $60M domestic box office sales for Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted were well ahead of the $45M predicted by Barclays Equity Research analyst Anthony DiClemente. This morning he raised his 2012 earnings per share estimate for DreamWorks to 95 cents a share from 93 cents — but left his “underweight” recommendation and $15 target price unchanged. “While the weekend take fell just short of Madagascar 2’s $63M haul in 2008, it was still a very impressive result,” he says. He now forecasts that Mad 3 will generate $175M at domestic box offices, up from his previous $165M, with international box office of $420M, up from $413M. Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible also is impressed by DreamWorks “first film in years to beat (U.S. box office) opening expectations” — which he says distributor Paramount “had been talking down” to $45M. He, too, raised his EPS estimates a penny to 77 cents for the current quarter and $1.17 for the year. Wible’s concerned that Mad 3‘s “run may be short-lived.”
WAYNE, N.J. and GLENDALE, Calif., June 1, 2012 — Toys”R”Us and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today unveiled “World of Madagascar,” a new brand featuring toys based on characters from all three Madagascar films, now available exclusively at Toys”R”Us online and in store locations around the world. Coinciding with the launch of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which arrives in theaters on June 8, Toys”R”Us is showcasing the “World of Madagascar” in Toys”R”Us stores throughout the United States during the month of June. Highlighted in the boutique are exclusive toys from Fisher-Price®, as well as a full range of lifestyle products inspired by the beloved Madagascar franchise.