NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) fell the most in four years Monday, after weekend box-office sales of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire failed to meet projections from industry analysts.
Shares of Lions Gate were tumbling 9.9% to $30.40 in mid-day trading, the largest drop since June 2009, as investors took profits in a stock that had surged 106% year to date, prior to today.
The Hunger Games sequel took in $161.1 million in box-office receipts, trailing a BoxOffice.com projection of $166 million in sales, according to data compiled by Rentrak (RENT). Nonetheless, Catching Fire did set a new 2-D record for an opening weekend currently held by The Dark Night Rises, part of the Batman franchise held by Time Warner's (TWX). Dark Night's opening totaled $160.9 million.
Time Warner Cable was slipping 0.4% to $132.39 as speculation that the second-largest U.S. pay-TV operator may be a takeover target was mired in doubts that the Federal Communications Commission would approve any such merger with either, Comcast (CMCSA), the country's largest pay-TV operator, or Charter Communications (CHTR).
Nonetheless, Craig Moffett, co-head of research firm MoffettNathanson, said he likes the idea of consolidation among the country's pay-TV providers. One possible deal scenario, Moffett said, is a joint bid whereby Comcast acquires Time Warner cable's New York operations and Charter takes everything else. Such an arrangement would allow Charter to avoid taking on more debt.
"The possibility that the two of them would do something together would make a lot of sense," Moffett said in a phone interview. "The danger is that people have overestimated the magnitude of the synergies."