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Monday, August 21, 2006

Time Warner: “Snakes On A Plane” Has No Venom

Stocks: (TWX)(SNE)

The horror, action, biology film “Snakes On A Plane” releases by TWX’s New Line brought in only $14 million, tying it with the boffo movie phenomenon “Talladega Nights” which is in its third week of release for Sony.

It goes to show that a movie about idiots driving cars trumps one about boa constrictors on a wide-bodied jet.

“Snakes” was supposed to be a big hit. Over the last few weeks postings about the film got more internet hits than search terms like “Jessica Simpson” and “Paris Hilton”. But, the film rolled snake eyes at the box office.

Following Warner’s other recent bombs which include “Superman”, “Poseidon”, “Lady In The Water”, and “Ant Bully”, the poor opening of “Snakes” leaves Warner management in a touch position.

With the AOL “turnaround” in its early stages, and the magazine group at Time Warner weighed down by a slow ad sales market and rising ink and paper prices, the big media conglomerate needed a strong performance from its studio arm.

That has not happen. If Carl Icahn wanted a few more bullets for his arsenal, he got them this weekend.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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