Tuesday, January 12, 2010

IMAX changed the movie business

Did you see Avatar? Everyone did. But did you see Avatar on 3-D IMAX? If so, then you really saw Avatar. The game has changed. Catch the ride.

3-D and IMAX have not only changed the future of the movie business. They have changed the business model of the movie business. IMAX used to be just science documentaries at your local museum. IMAX has made deals with all but one of the major studios to collect 1/3 of the box office take for any feature shown in their theatres. To see Avatar costs $10.50 for a regular adult ticket, but $16.50 for the IMAX experience. Just Avatar alone will put them in the black for 2009.

But the 2010 line up is just as impressive...Alice in Wonderland, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3, and Twilight:Eclipse. It will be a while before a movie like Avatar invests as much in cutting edge graphics. But, as James Cameron has noted, the platform is now there.

"The box office success of “Avatar” boosted analyst estimates for Imax Corp.’s fourth-quarter EBITDA estimate to $20.3 million from $13.7 million and earnings per share to 15 cents from five cents. [EBITDA or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, is a key measure of operating cash flow.] The Firm says IMAX’s share of the box office has risen to the 15%-18% range from the typical 8%-12% from just 3%-4% of the screens, showing the format is a “must-have” for multiplex operators."

International growth is also being initiated due to brand recognition and word of mouth about the IMAX experience. The game has changed worldwide, if an action movie is a must see, then it must be seen on IMAX.

The author recommends buying IMAX at $13.10.


Lockstep said...

I read an article from an analyst who thinks that due to IMAX success, they will face more competition in the 3-D space.

Good point, but there is also serious brand recognition for IMAX already. This does not sway my view.

Lockstep said...

The stock hit $14.84 today. I am entering a stop loss at $14.10.

Lockstep said...

Stopped out of the position on July 1st at $14.05


Imax has seen better days.