A South Korean theater chain? Japanese entertainment giant Sony (NYSE:SNE)? A pair of private-equity firms, one that includes U2 lead singer and activist Bono? That is the colorful melting pot of characters lining up for a chance at owning IMAX (NASDAQ:IMAX), according to a story in this morning's Globe and Mail.

It isn't a shock to learn that the days are numbered for IMAX as a standalone publicly traded entity. Back in March, the company behind the bigger-than-life movie screens, state-of-the-art sound systems, and 3-D effects announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives. The only question marks were who would step up and how much would they be willing to pay.

The article claims that IMAX may fetch as much as $14 a share by the time the company narrows down the competing offers. Investors should be heartened to learn that so many players are interested. It takes only two suitors to start a bidding war, and having twice that many gives IMAX bargaining power and the flexibility to lose an interested party or two along the way and still be taken out on its own terms.

Unlike theater chains that have seen sluggish attendance at the multiplex over the past three years, ticket sales for IMAX screenings have boomed, along with the new theater installations that currently make up the lion's share of the company's revenue base.

IMAX has been a celluloid savior, giving studios like Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), Disney (NYSE:DIS), and Sony a little extra kick at the box office by charging a premium for theatrical releases on IMAX at the same time as they hit the screens of more conventional movie chains. The first week of Superman Returns may have generated $108 million in domestic ticket sales, but $6.8 million of that bounty came from 76 gargantuan IMAX screens that were also running the movie with enhanced 3-D eye candy.

The eventual winning bidder, if this process eventually does generate an acceptable offer, will be getting a promising growth stock in an industry that could sorely use a shot in the arm. An acquirer with more financial fortitude would be able to ramp up expansion by adding more company-owned units to the current trickle of global third-party orders.

If a deal is completed, it would be the second stock that I recommended to Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service subscriber to get bought out at a premium. Last year, it was ProFlowers.com parent Provide Commerce that was scooped up by Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LBTYA). That's the welcome kicker in chasing fast-growing upstarts. Larger players with deep pockets are never shy about approaching potential threats on the way up the ladder. Let's hope IMAX has an open mind and the clarity to make the right choice, even if Bono starts serenading it with "With or Without You" from the front porch.

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Time Warner and Disney are Stock Advisor selections.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a movie buff. He does own shares in Disney. 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.