The Man of Steel may fear kryptonite, but he's apparently not afraid of 3-D effects. Time Warner's
The 76 gargantuan IMAX screens showing the film around the country kicked in with $6.8 million of that box-office take. That translates into an $89,804 average per screen in the film's first week, more than three times the average of what conventional movie theaters were raking in on the film.
Beyond the "bigger-than-life" experience offered by IMAX screens that can stretch as high as eight stories tall, director Bryan Singer enhanced four sequences with "in-your-face" 3-D effects exclusively for IMAX audiences.
IMAX had scored well by sprucing up The Polar Express with 3-D eye candy, but this was the company's first time adding 3-D to a first-run live-action release. The film also fared well for IMAX overseas, screening in 11 different international IMAX theaters. That number will grow to 35 in the coming weeks.
The record-breaking results for IMAX come at a perfect time for the company. Back in March, IMAX announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives. Soliciting buyout offers gets a whole lot easier when you're at the top of your game.
Superman's healthy run follows several stumbles; IMAX suffered with remastered versions of Time Warner duds Poseidon and V for Vendetta earlier this year. Successful releases of IMAX-sized features are a major incentive for movie-theater operators and other entertainment-center owners to slip IMAX an order. The company installed 34 new systems last year, providing the lion's share of the company's revenue mix.
IMAX isn't tied to Time Warner. Come September, it will be working with Sony
IMAX is in a good place right now, even if putting itself on the bidding block conveys images of desperation. The company is profitable, and its ambitious international expansion strategy opens the door for overseas leisure conglomerates to compete against stateside private equity firms to win IMAX's hand.
Long before the buyout buzz, I had recommended the stock in the Motley Fool Rule Breakers growth-stock newsletter service. A healthy takeover premium would be nice, but the company also is poised to appreciate on its own, absent a reasonably offer. After all, when you've got Superman on your side, the sky's the limit.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a movie buff, but he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. Time Warner is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick . The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.