A Godzilla sequel is already in the works. Should investors cheer this plan? And if so, what's the best way to profit? Guest host Alison Southwick puts these questions to analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.
Tim says that "creature features" have a mixed box office history. Big-ticket winners such as the Jurassic Park series of movies tend to be offset by mid-tier misses such as Eight Legged Freaks. Meanwhile, despite its early success, director Gareth Edwards' new take on Godzilla is still $150 million in worldwide grosses short of Roland Emmerich's 1998 version.
Nor should investors presume Edwards' Godzilla will close the gap. Audiences give Godzilla a "B+" CinemaScore -- even with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 but also a far cry from the "A" ratings granted to Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Whether Godzilla proves to be the earner it looked like a few weeks ago isn't as important as what's to come. Legendary Pictures and Godzilla franchise partner Time Warner (NYSE:TWX.DL) will allow the story to grow in a sequel, and that means another opportunity for investors to cash in.
How? One option is to buy shares of Warner. Those who'd rather spread their bets while also getting a piece of Legendary might invest in financier Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR), which spent $443 million to acquire a near 20% stake in the studio in December 2012. The deal valued Legendary at $2.5 billion at the time.
Finally, don't miss Nathan's patented Godzilla roar! As we call it here at Fool HQ: so bad, it's great.
Now it's your turn to weigh in using the comments box below. Would you see a Godzilla sequel? How big can this franchise become? Click the video to watch as Alison puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then let us know your thoughts. You can also follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!