DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians," which features a squadron of folk heroes, has been a dud at the box office.

DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians," which features a squadron of folk heroes, has been a dud at the box office. (DreamWorks Animation / January 3, 2013)

DreamWorks Animation may end up losing nearly $100 million on its recent holiday release "Rise of the Guardians."

That's the sobering prediction of Lazard Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett.  In a research note on Wednesday, Crockett said he expects the Glendale-based studio will take a $96 million write-down on "Rise of the Guardians," which has been a rare box office flop for DreamWorks.
'Rise of the Guardians,' which cost about $145 million to make, has generated $261 million in global box office ticket sales since its debut in late November, well below that of a typical DreamWorks Animation movie.  The movie -- about a group of folk heroes, including the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, who join forces to protect children from an evil nemesis -- has yet to open in New Zealand, Poland, Turkey and Japan.

"While bulls want to look past this write-off, the risk is that a second flop like 'Guardians' could dramatically change sentiment," wrote Crockett, who had previously estimated that studio would take a $45-million write-down.

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