Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What's happening: Shares of Dreamworks Animation SKG (NASDAQ:DWA) rose as much as 10% early Monday, then settled to trade up around 6% as of 12:30 p.m. after the box office launch of its latest movie, Home, exceeded expectations.
Why it's happening: Specifically, Home -- an animated adventure-comedy featuring the voice of The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons, among others -- grossed an estimated $54 million from domestic audiences over its first weekend on the big screen. It easily secured the weekend's top spot ahead of the $34.6 million earned by fellow newcomer Get Hard -- a live-action comedy featuring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart -- from Time Warner's Warner Bros. For perspective -- and despite serving two very different audiences -- early projections predicted Home and Get Hard would be in for a close battle for No. 1 at just above $30 million each.
Home also earned a coveted "A" CinemaScore from polled audiences (Get Hard earned a "B". With no significant competition from other family-friendly animated movies until Disney Pixar's Inside Out hits theaters in June, that bodes well for Home's chances of sustaining its momentum through positive word-of-mouth and repeat viewings. For now, this should also help prop up Dreamworks on the heels of its recently announced decision to restructure its feature film business, and use 2015 as a "transitional year" to drive sustainable long-term growth. With that in mind, it's no surprise the market is bidding up shares of Dreamworks Animation today.
Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned, but you can bet he'll be bringing his kids to see "Home" in the very near future. The Motley Fool recommends DreamWorks Animation and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. 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.