If you want to invest in the movie business, never mind the studios behind Spiderman, Shrek and Pirates of the Caribbean. Look to the little lion instead. Wall Street has been mesmerized by the record-breaking summer blockbuster season powered by big-budget hits from the media titans like Disney ( DIS), Viacom ( VIA) and News Corp. ( NWS). When it comes to their stock prices, however, the success of these franchise favorites too often gets buried within the consolidated results of sprawling conglomerates coping with a host of problems in other businesses. That hasn't been an issue at Lions Gate Entertainment ( LGF), one of the last remaining pure-plays on filmed entertainment. Lions Gate is known for making cheap movies with a lower profile and turning them into highly profitable offerings, but in recent months something went wrong. While its huge media rivals enjoyed the biggest summer in box office history, Lions Gate suffered a losing streak for which it was punished by investors. Its films -- like Slow Burn, The Condemned, Delta Farce, Bug, Hostel 2 and Bratz -- fizzled. Its stock shed about 15% over the course of the season. "We didn't put our best foot forward this summer," conceded Michael Burns, vice chairman with Lions Gate, at a recent media conference in New York City. On a conference call following its first-quarter earnings release in early August, Burns estimated those six films will wind up costing the studio just $15 million. Meanwhile, he predicted the next batch of movies would pick up the slack and give the company its strongest fiscal year ever in 2008, with a domestic box office target of $400 million. So far so good. The company's offbeat comedy starring Jessica Alba and Dana Cook, Good Luck Chuck, in which Lions Gate only invested $19 million, opened last month and brought in a respectable $14 million at the box office in its debut. That exceeded expectations for Oppenheimer analyst Thomas Eagan, who predicts the company will earn $12 million to $14 million on the title. Good Luck Chuck followed the strong opening of Lions Gate's Western remake 3:10 to Yuma. That movie led the box office in its early September debut with $14.1 million and continues to be strong. In August, the company released the action movie War, another solid performer.