Wall Street predicts writedown for DWA after tough opening

Despite expanding from nine to 55 territories over the Nov. 30-Dec. 2 weekend, Paramount-DreamWorks Animation’s “Rise of the Guardians” ($38.3 million) was unable to fly past Summit’s “Twilight” titan, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2″ which collected a chart-topping $47.1 million in its third overseas frame.

“Part 2″ reached $447 million internationally, for a worldwide cume of $701.4 million; “Guardians” so far has disappointed, with just $55.1 million overseas and nearly $104 million globally through Dec. 2.

Two weeks ago, the DWA animated feature — the last for Paramount — notched one of the lowest domestic openings for the toon shop, leaving offshore B.O. to shoulder the burden of potential profitability — and analysts are predicting it to be a heavy burden. Just one day after second-week international grosses rolled in for the toon, Wall Streeters estimated DWA would take a $50 million hit on the $145 million-budgeted film.

One observer estimates “Rise” needs to gross at least $235 million internationally to avoid a writedown.

The pic earned $4.7 million in France, a weekend-best for the toon, but only on par with the local opening of 2010’s “How to Train Your Dragon.” The U.K. contributed $3 million, off 59% from “Dragon,” while Germany ($1.6 million), trailed the DWA predecessor by 43%.

“Rise” needs to do well in Western Europe, where its holiday-themed characters are best known. “Dragon,” by comparison, cumed $277 million internationally, and scored well in Asia, with South Korea having contributed $25 million.

The top overseas territory for “Twilight” so far is the U.K., with $50 million, followed by Brazil ($42.6 million) and Russia ($41 million).

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