Folks heading into the gargantuan IMAX
That's not the center's fault. It certainly isn't IMAX's fault, either; the push to digital projection systems was made for event-driven live programming like this. Apparently, the NFL's crackdown on large public viewings led to the center to reconsider the event.
I recommended IMAX's stock to Rule Breakers subscribers nearly four years ago, long before the digital revolution reignited interest in theatrical flicks on a super-huge screen. Back then, my buy thesis hinged on having movie studios release higher-res versions of their films on IMAX, and on getting theater owners to sign deals with IMAX to increase their ticketing revenue.
Those things happened, and they're still happening, but these days, IMAX is getting a push from the migration to digital -- as well as from its own decision to go the joint-venture route with leading exhibitors including AMC and Regal
The stock has more than doubled since bottoming out two months ago. It got hammered under the weight of the company's pesky debt and spotty profitability. The balance sheet still isn't perfect, but at least the company is moving in the right direction on the income statement. Co-CEO Richard Gelfond was on Fox this week, discussing the shift to digital. He sees the company adding 100 screens this year and turning a profit.
Analysts are all over the map, with the four major Wall Street firms expecting the company to report anything between a $0.44-per-share profit and a $0.20-per-share deficit in 2009. The huge variance should lead investors to expect a great deal of volatility until IMAX shows its true colors.
Studios are starting to believe in IMAX in a big way. A couple of years ago, most IMAX theatrical releases were the handiwork of Time Warner
So let Super Sunday start without IMAX. It has its eyes on a bigger game. The cost efficiencies of digital delivery and a larger theater base may help make this the ultimate Rule Breakers recommendation.
Other hits to catch on your not-so-big screen:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a movie buff but owns no shares in any of the companies in this story, save for DreamWorks Animation. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.