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DreamWorks Animation’s ‘Turbo’ Tracking Slow: Analyst

Fox-distributed toon opens July 17, with a $35 million U.S. opening projected

Fox’s second DreamWorks Animation release, “Turbo,” which is slated to bow July 17, appears to be less turbo-charged and moving more at a snail’s pace, according to a Wall Street analyst’s report.

Early buzz — which includes social media chatter — suggests the original toon is tracking below the norm for past DWA films, with a five-day bow projected in the mid-$30 millions. However, the film has been making inroads lately and should continue to gain traction over the next eight days.

The report estimates “Turbo” will earn roughly $150 million at the domestic box office, which translates to around four-and-a-half times its opening. Fox’s first DWA release, “The Croods,” saw a similar Stateside multiple, though its eventual domestic cume of $186 million and $578 million worldwide was a respectable start to the Fox-DWA partnership.

According to the report, the toon generated only 638 tweets during a five-day period two weeks prior to its release. That’s compared with “The Croods,” which had 4,164, and “Rise of the Guardians,” with 2,525. Also, stats show that tracking according to sites such as IMDB and HSX is 61% below the average DWA toon.

On a promising note, however, the number of viewers skipping the online trailer ad started out low, though skipping has since increased to average levels.

There’s an obvious ploy to attract urban and Hispanic audiences given the similarities in marketing to “Fast and Furious 6,” which has cumed nearly $700 million worldwide. Also, “Turbo” filmmakers enlisted a supporting cast that includes Michael Pena, Luis Guzman and Michelle Rodriguez.

The biggest obstacle for “Turbo” now is “Despicable Me 2,” which had a boffo Monday after opening at record-setting five-day domestic heights. The fate of “Turbo” will depend greatly on how well “Despicable Me 2” holds this weekend. One potentially positive sign for “Turbo” is that the summer market can accommodate several animated pics at once: “Monsters University,” for instance, only fell 57% last weekend, even with “Despicable Me” dominating the market.

“Turbo,” which features the voice of Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti and Samuel L. Jackson, centers on an ambitious garden snail who, after a freak accident, gains super-speed abilities. He then trains to fulfill a dream of competing in the Indy 500.

DreamWorks Animation stock was down 1.77% (25.54) per share on Tuesday afternoon.

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