Don’t be surprised next Friday if the office looks even more empty than usual—your co-workers may be ditching work for one of the most bizarre double feature events in recent memory.

The Films: A Magical Mash-up

“Barbenheimer” is summer’s new buzzword—a mash-up of two of the season’s most hotly anticipated films:

  1. Barbie from Warner Bros. (ticker: WBD)
  2. Oppenheimer from Comcast’s (CMCSA) Universal Pictures

Both films are set for wide release on July 21.

A Tale of Contrasts

One is a fantasy romp featuring the popular Mattel (MAT) doll franchise, while the other is a dark drama about the scientist behind World War II’s Manhattan Project. (Hopefully, it’s easy to discern which is which.) Despite the wildly disparate themes, moviegoers are eager to catch both on opening day, with some even planning costumes, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Ticket Sales and Social Buzz

Earlier this week, according to Bloomberg, 19% of those who bought tickets for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer also grabbed tickets for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. That number could swell as “Barbenheimer” talk continues on social media.

An Alternative Experience

But even if you are stuck in the office—or don’t care to spend a summer Friday in the theater—there are still ways to join the fun. Our team looked at ticket prices in New York and found that seeing both films on premier day would cost $38.50—and that is before the refreshments that would surely be needed. The total runtime for both films is about five hours.

Investing Beyond the Box Office

As the entertainment industry continues to recover from the pandemic, there are opportunities for investors to capitalize on the success of movie-related stocks. Two stocks worth considering are Cinemark Holdings (CNK) and Hasbro (HAS).

Cinemark Holdings (CNK)

Despite a recent pullback in shares, Cinemark Holdings has shown resilience compared to its rivals AMC Entertainment and IMAX. Trading at around $15 per share, analysts at B. Riley have upgraded Cinemark to a Buy rating with a potential target of $23. This optimistic view is based on the projected growth of box office sales through 2024.

Hasbro (HAS)

Hasbro, known for its toy manufacturing, is no stranger to leveraging its intellectual property to drive movie sales. With successful franchises like Transformers and Dungeons & Dragons, Hasbro has a strong track record. Although it lacks a major summer release beyond the recent Transformers movie in June, Hasbro presents an interesting investment opportunity. Trading at 13.7 times forward earnings, below its historical average of 17.9 times, Hasbro offers potential value for investors compared to its competitor Mattel. Mattel, which trades at 16.6 times earnings, has seen a 12% gain in stock price in the last month leading up to Barbie’s release.

The Box Office Winners

Based on projections from Box Office Pro, Barbie is expected to have a blockbuster opening weekend, bringing in $85 million. Its wide appeal is anticipated to drive strong ticket sales. In comparison, Oppenheimer is projected to earn at least $45 million.

Beyond the Movies

While investing in movie-related stocks can be lucrative, there are other investment opportunities outside of the box office. It’s essential for investors to diversify their portfolios and explore different avenues for profit.

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