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DreamWorks Animation shares fall after downgrade

May 18, 2010 |  4:26 pm

Wall Street wasn't throwing green at DreamWorks Animation on Tuesday.

Shares of the Glendale company fell nearly 6%, closing at $34.13, after an analyst downgraded his rating on the company, citing a lower projected box-office haul from "Shrek Forever After."

Benjamin Mogil, an analyst with Thomas Weisel Partners, told clients in a research note he expects the movie to generate $315 million in the U.S. and Canada, well below his previous estimate of $375 million.

Citing preliminary surveys, Mogil estimated that the latest "Shrek" film would generate $75 million to $90 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend, far below both the $110 million-plus opening most analysts were expecting and the $121 million that "Shrek the Third" generated in its opening weekend.

Shrek Forever After" -- starring Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy -- is the fourth and "final chapter"  in the lucrative franchise. Nonetheless, the studio has in the works at least one spin-off, "Puss In Boots," set for release in 2011.

Investors reacted harshly this year when the studio's previous movie, "How to Train Your Dragon," had a tepid opening. But investor confidence rallied as the film gained considerable traction among audiences, drawing more than $429 million worldwide and becoming a hit film for the company.

-- Richard Verrier

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