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Mixed Buzz Circles DreamWorks' Bee Movie

Wall Street has mixed reviews for the early buzz on Jerry Seinfeld's Bee Movie.

Shares of DreamWorks Animation (DWA - Get Report) drifted down 1.9% on Monday, even though Bee Movie, its latest film, led the box-office results in North America for its second weekend in theaters.

The movie, created by Seinfeld, had a three-day haul of $26 million, down from its debut weekend, which brought in $39.1 million. Still, it rebounded against Universal Pictures' American Gangster, which slid from No. 1 to No. 2.

That made Bee Movie the first film to rise in the rankings to hit No. 1 after its debut week since Wedding Crashers in July 2005.

Sanders Morris Harris analyst David Miller calls the performance "outstanding" for a second weekend, noting that box-office receipts for animation films normally decline 38% to 42% in their second weekend, while Bee Movie was down only 32%.

"That implies strong word-of-mouth and repeat viewings," says Miller, who holds a buy rating on DreamWorks. "These are not Shrek-type numbers by any means, but so far they're trending in line with our numbers, and we don't understand why the stock is down today."

After this year's third installment of Shrek, DreamWorks' smash-hit franchise, the success of its collaboration with Seinfeld, the comic legend, was viewed by investors as a key to ensuring ongoing momentum for its stock price. The stock is up 2.2% so far in 2007, closing Monday at $29.93.
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