Dreamworks Animation shares fall on movie opening

NEW YORK Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:24am EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of DreamWorks Animation fell more than 7 percent on Monday after a disappointing weekend at the box office for its film "Puss in Boots."

The animated film took the No. 1 spot at the North American box office over the weekend, but the $34 million take was the company's worst opening since 2006. "Puss in Boots" was also one of the company's most critically acclaimed movies in years.

Lazard Capital Analyst Barton Crockett called the light opening for the big-budget 3D spinoff from the blockbuster "Shrek" series "a challenge for Dreamworks Animation," in a research note on Monday.

"Either the marketing did not click, and the decision to open Halloween weekend did not work, or DreamWorks Animation is suffering from more competition than before," Crockett said.

DreamWorks Animation Chief Marketing Officer said that the snowstorm in the East likely shaved "a couple million" off the weekend's sales.

The firm Caris also cut the company's price target to $23 per share from $25 per share on Friday.

DreamWorks shares were down 7.2 percent at $18.68 in morning trading on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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