IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX ) continues its globetrotting ways, inking an eight-screen deal this week to expand further into China.
Living up to Shakespeare's "all the world's a stage" nugget, IMAX has spent the past few weeks shaking hands for new system installations in Russia, Japan, and the Philippines. IMAX has announced 103 system signings this year, nearly three times what it had lined up through all of last year.
China is a perfect market for IMAX's overseas push. Despite being typically perceived as an emerging market, the world's most populous nation takes its eye candy seriously. Television broadcasters are set to go wholly digital over the next five years, providing a buying opportunity for leading smartcard maker China Digital (NYSE: STV ) .
Several companies specialize in pumping out multimedia advertising in heavily trafficked areas. Focus Media (Nasdaq: FMCN ) fills busy buildings with ad-backed monitors and digital poster frames. VisionChina Media (Nasdaq: VISN ) cranks out video ads on buses, trains, and other forms of mass transportation.
Consumers in major cities are bombarded with video around the clock, so a night out at the movies really has to up the stakes to truly stand out. IMAX's gargantuan screens and high-tech sound systems should help exhibitors do exactly that.
This should also be a good time for IMAX shareholders. The stock has surrendered more than a third of its value since peaking three months ago, but favorable sentiment appears to be returning to the sector.
This weekend's top cinematic draw is also a hit on IMAX. Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX ) Inception delivered more than 11% of the film's ticket sales through IMAX over the weekend, even though the screens accounted for just 5% of the total screens playing Chris Nolan's dreamy mindbender.
The big picture continues to get bigger -- especially now in the world's biggest nation.
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