July 18, 2011 / 7:27 PM / 8 years ago

RealD weakens on "Potter" 3D box office

A Harry Potter fan waits in line at a movie theater with a Potter-themed pillow before opening night of the film "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" in New York July 14, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) - Shares of RealD Inc, a licensor of 3D technologies, fell 10 percent on Monday as 3D viewership numbers for the final Harry Potter film fell short of investor expectations over the weekend.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” shattered box office records in the United States and Canada with a whopping $168.6 million (105 million pounds) in sales, but the 3D version of the movie contributed only 43 percent of that revenue.

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” collected 60 percent of its sales from 3D in the opening weekend while “Alice in Wonderland” got 70 percent and “Toy Story 3” 60 percent, according to Box Office Mojo.

The box office revenue for 3D movies in domestic cinemas, which comes with a premium price, has been down since the start of the summer movie season, after significantly boosting box office receipts for over a year, roughly since the release of “Avatar” in 2009.

After movies such as “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” missed expectations for 3-D viewership, investors pinned their hopes for a rebound on the “Potter” movie, the first in the series to be released in 3D.

While international 3D performance has been better than the domestic market, industry analysts see international 3D viewership trending down over time to reach similar levels as in the United States.

Shares of California-based RealD were down $1.10 or 5 percent, at $18.99 in midday trade. They touched a low of $18.04 earlier in the day.

Shares of RealD, which in June forecast a decline in licensing gross margins for fiscal 2012, have lost 43 percent of their value since “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the first blockbuster of Hollywood’s summer season, was released in May.

Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian

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