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.
On the third day of the Cannes Film Festival it was a day for familiar names taking the spotlight on the famed Palais steps. First up tonight was the return of DreamWorks Animation. One way or another DreamWorks Animation honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg finds a way to bring his latest product to the Croisette, whether in the form of a press stunt, junket, competition or as was the case tonight with out-of-competition entry Magagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted which debuted in the prime 7:30PM slot on the first Friday of the festival. Of course with the sequel using nearby Monte Carlo as a key backdrop for the action, and Europe in its title, this was a no-brainer for Cannes Fest director Thierry Fremaux who has repeatedly called DreamWorks Animation a “friend of the festival” and loves having a fun 3D movie toon in the mix. Just two years ago the fest opened with Disney/Pixar’s Up.
Repping the movie at Cannes were directors Eric Darnell, Conrad Vernon and Tom McGrath in addition to starry voices including Ben Stiller who plays Alex the lion, Chris Rock as the zebra Marty, Jada Pinkett-Smith as Gloria the hippo and David Schwimmer as Melman the giraffe. Among new cast members who made the trek to Cannes are Martin Short as Italian sea lion Stefano and Jessica Chastain as the Italian jaguar Gia.
As Stiller put it in today’s meeting with …