NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Katniss Everdeen might have won the Hunger Games, but she's not the only one due a windfall thanks to the franchise's next installment, Catching Fire. Lions Gate (LGF), Scholastic (SCHL), Regal Entertainment Group (RGC), Cinemark Holdings (CNK) and Comcast (CMCSA) will likely achieve a District 1 level of wealth through the film's cinematic run.

Lions Gate has the odds ever in its favor, after it bought the book rights back in 2009, backing the little movie that could during its 2012 release. Now that the franchise is a must-see blockbuster, Forbes estimates Catching Fire could top $250 million in its opening weekend, though Reuters cites a more conservative $170 million. On Thursday night, the sequel reportedly generated $25.25 million in box office sales in the U.S., 28% higher than the original during the same timeframe.

The original Hunger Games, released March last year, grossed $691 million worldwide, the 14th highest-grossing North American release in history. Before its release, the $80-million project was expected to generate between $125 million to $135 million for its opening weekend, according to Bloomberg, and those estimates generously factored in social media hype. In its debut 48 hours, the film pulled in $155 million in North America alone.

The final two films, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, the material of which is derived from the third book in the series, will be released in November 2014 and 2015, respectively.

The studio has also taken on the rights to a separate dystopian young-adult franchise, Divergent. The first installment in the Veronica Roth series is slated for a March 2014 release.

Next, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark will likely reap the rewards of more viewers in their seats. Regal has a total 576 theaters with a combined 7,342 screens across North America, while Cinemark has 506 theaters and 5,794 screens in the U.S. and Latin America. Comcast-owned Fandango is already pulling in the big bucks. On Thursday, the online movie ticket seller said 85% of its advance ticket sales were for Catching Fire.

Finally, the film will likely spike renewed interest in its source material, The Hunger Games trilogy, authored by Suzanne Collins. According to Scholastic, the publisher which owns the rights to the series, more than 65 million print and digital copies are in circulation in the U.S. alone. Since the original's publication in 2008, the trilogy has sat comfortably on The New York Times bestseller list for 260 consecutive weeks.

By late afternoon, Lions Gate had rallied 2.8% to $33.46, Regal inched 0.4% higher to $19.60, Cinemark gained 0.4% to $33.21, Comcast surged 4.4% to $49.52, and Scholastic added 1.3% to $31.56.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Lions Gate Entertainment as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, Lions Gate Entertainment's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 1675% to $139.86 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, Lions Gate Entertainment has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 13.65%.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, LGF's share price has jumped by 124.8%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • 47.51% is the gross profit margin for Lions Gate Entertainment which we consider to be strong. Regardless of LGF's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 0.10% trails the industry average.
  • Lions Gate Entertainment has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Lions Gate Entertainment turned its bottom line around by earning $1.57 a share vs. -30 cents a share in the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Cinemark Holdings Inc as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Cinemark Holdings Inc (CNK) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Cinemark Holdings Inc reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, Cinemark Holdings Inc increased its bottom line by earning $1.47 a share vs. $1.14 a share in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.58 vs. $1.47).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income increased by 68.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $47.39 million to $80.02 million.
  • The strong earnings growth this company has enjoyed -- up -- has apparently played a role in driving up its share price by a solid 33.72%. In addition, the rise in the general market has likely contributed to this stock's strong performance during this past year.Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Despite the current debt-to-equity ratio of 1.86, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Media industry. Despite the fact that CNK's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.71 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Comcast Corp as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Comcast Corp (CMCSA) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $3,994 million or 16.64% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, Comcast Corp has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 13.65%.
  • CMCSA's share price has surged by 34.71% over the past year, reflecting the market's general trend, despite their weak earnings growth during the last quarter. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, CMCSA should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • COMCAST CORP's earnings per share declined by 16.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Comcast Corp increased its bottom line by earning $2.29 a share vs. $1.51 a share in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.01 vs. $2.29).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.94, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Despite the fact that CMCSA's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.60, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, Comcast Corp's return on equity has significantly outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Scholastic Corp as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Scholastic Corp (SCHL) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year and disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Media industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 6.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$32.1 million to -$29.9 million.
  • The gross profit margin for Scholastic Corp  is rather high; currently it is at 50.09%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -10.82% is in-line with the industry average.
  • SCHL's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.11 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.43 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, Scholastic Corp has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$70.8 million or 307.01% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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