Why You Should Care About "The Wolf of Wall Street"

You might have seen "The Wolf of Wall Street," and you have surely heard of it, but it's highly unlikely that you know the driving force behind the movie.

Jan 3, 2014 at 2:10PM

The Wolf of Wall Street is a Red Granite Pictures production, and Red Granite Pictures has a distribution deal with Paramount Pictures, which is a subsidiary of Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB).

Based on early results, this is a positive for Viacom. However, there's a lot more going on than meets the average eye. Red Granite Pictures' next release is likely to benefit Universal Pictures -- a subsidiary of Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) -- as well as New Line Cinema, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., which is owned by Time Warner (NYSE:TWX). Confused yet? Don't worry, it gets a lot simpler. 

Unleash the Wolf
Red Granite Pictures was formed by Joey McFarland and Riza Aziz in 2009. The company's strategy is brilliant and original. It looks for movies with strong brand potential that were never green-lighted and were left for dead. Red Granite then works like mad to get those movies made. Red Granite Films produced Out of the Furnace and Friends with Kids

For instance, despite several challenges, including Hurricane Sandy setting back production, Red Granite persevered and got The Wolf of Wall Street made -- with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, and Rob Reiner included. That's a strong cast, not to mention that it's a Martin Scorsese film, which always attracts large audiences.

Red Granite finances its films on an individual basis, relying primarily on Middle Eastern and Asian investors.  Those who invested in The Wolf of Wall Street are likely to be pleased. The film's budget of $100 million was somewhat steep for a small West Hollywood company like Red Granite, but the movie grossed $34.3 million in its first five days, ahead of Paramount Pictures' expectations. 

The movie also sports an IMDb rating of 8.8 out of 10, which is extremely high. For some reason, the movie hasn't fared quite as well on Rotten Tomatoes, sporting an audience score of 79%. However, that's still very respectable. Furthermore, this is the type of movie that should build momentum based on word of mouth. Who doesn't like a movie about a Wall Street con man? 

The Wolf of Wall Street is likely to be profitable for all those involved, and it indicates that Viacom's Paramount Pictures is wise when it comes to risk-taking opportunities with strong upside potential.

Better yet, Red Granite's next movie might have even more potential. If that potential is met, it will benefit Time Warner the most, as the company has a significant financial interest in the film. That movie is...

It's a dumber movie
Red Granite's next film is the upcoming release of the sequel to Dumb and Dumber, which will be called Dumb and Dumber To. Yes, the last word of the title is spelled incorrectly on purpose. 

The best part about Dumb and Dumber To is that, unlike the prequel, Dumb and Dumberer, it will again star Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. This movie should have significant potential. Many Generation Xers will see it. I'm one of them, and as dumb as it sounds, many in my generation see Dumb and Dumber as one of the best comedies ever made (Hey, the same is said about Airplane! from the previous generation, so please don't judge).

From an investing standpoint
Though this is just one small iron in the fire for Viacom's Paramount Pictures, The Wolf of Wall Street is an example of the company's successful strategy of investing in profitable ventures. While we don't know how Dumb and Dumber To will perform, the brand alone indicates potential for Time Warner, which owns Warner Bros. Also keep in mind that Universal Pictures -- a subsidiary of Comcast -- will be releasing and marketing the film. Finally, don't be surprised if this little West Hollywood company is acquired by a larger player at some point over the next several years. 

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Fool contributor Dan Moskowitz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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