Barbie’s next movie will be directed by Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig

Barbie’s next movie will have an Oscar nominee behind the camera: Greta Gerwig will direct and write the movie, which is targeted for release in 2023.

Gerwig has been nominated for her work on the films “Lady Bird” and the 2019 adaption of “Little Women.”

The latest Barbie film will begin production next year. Barbie is part of the Mattel Inc.

Mattel has also partnered with MGM and “Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham on a Polly Pocket movie that will star “Emily in Paris” actor Lily Collins. Inc. AMZN announced a deal to purchase MGM in May. That deal is now under Federal Trade Commission review.

Gerwig joins another Oscar nominee, Margot Robbie, who has been tied to the project for some time. And adds to the list of notable names associated with Mattel entertainment projects, including Daniel Kaluuya, star of “Get Out.”

There have been previous Barbie films, many of them animated.

See: Peppa Pig, a pandemic favorite, has American children acting British

Both Mattel and Hasbro Inc.
turned their focus to the entertainment sides of their respective businesses when announcing their second-quarter earnings this week.

Hasbro has a My Little Pony movie in the works, along with shows like Peppa Pig. The company also has partnerships with recent releases “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins” and “Black Widow.”

And: Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over ‘Black Widow’ streaming release

On the core toy side of the Mattel business, there was a 43% increase in the American Girl brand, which is undergoing a turnaround. Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price were among the brands reporting double-digit growth.

“American Girl is becoming a playbook success story and now a growth driver for Mattel,” said Ynon Kreiz, Mattel’s chief executive, on the earnings call, according to FactSet.

And: Mattel swings to surprise quarterly profit as sales rise 40%

MKM Partners says Mattel is “hitting on all cylinders,” but maintained its neutral stock rating. MKM’s price target on Mattel is $25.

“Mattel’s business is in the best position in years, but we believe a lot of this good news is already priced into the shares,” analysts said.

Hasbro blew past earnings expectations on the strength of Wizards of the Coast and digital gaming. However, the Dungeons & Dragons launch of Dark Alliance was not as well received.

Also: Hasbro stock jumps after big profit beat, as Wizards of the Coast revenue more than doubled

“[T]he launch of Dark Alliance did not meet our expectations or that of our players,” said Brian Goldner, chief executive of the company, on the earnings call, according to FactSet.

“We’ll continue to invest in improving the game play and downloadable content. Dark Alliance was a modest investment for us and we do not anticipate any material effect to Wizards’ results.”

JPMorgan is optimistic about Hasbro for the rest of the year.

“Overall, we believe Wizards of the Coast’s outstanding outperformance in the quarter has created enough cushion to render the full-year op margin guidance of ‘flattish vs. last year’ conservative, a key debate holding back the stock in recent months,” wrote analysts in a note that calls the beat “exceptional.”

JPMorgan rates Hasbro stock neutral with a $112 price target.

“In our view, while there are difficult supply chain challenges being managed, there are multiple paths for numbers to continue moving higher,” wrote MKM Partners in a different note.

“The company is aggressively looking at various measures to ensure desired inventory deliveries.”

MKM rates Hasbro stock buy with a $118 price target.

Analysts have already raised concerns that supply chain problems could interfere with the holiday season.

Don’t miss: Santa could be stalled as supply chain issues put toy sector at risk for the holidays

“These supply chain pressures are meaningful,” said Hasbro’s Goldner. “But given the strength in our business, the actions we have taken combined with our global footprint, we continue to believe we can meet our full-year targets.”

Mattel said that supply chain disruptions during the most recent quarter didn’t have a material impact on results. The company has restructured its supply chain and now calls it a “competitive advantage.”

“[W]e still foresee continuing supply chain challenges for the rest of the year. But we have factored them into our plans,” said Mattel’s Kreiz.

Mattel stock has gained 24.4% for the year to date. Hasbro is up 6.8% for the period. And the benchmark S&P 500 index
has run up 17.1%.

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