Yesterday, Imax (NYSE:IMAX) reported that it has added two movies to its 2009 slate.
The first movie is: Where the Wild Things Are
Where the Wild Things Are is based on a children's book. Max, the main character of the book is sent to bed without dinner and creates a fictional world of ferocious monsters. The monsters crown Max as their king in the forest where they live. The movie is directed by Spike Jonze, who previously directed Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and several music videos. The movie stars Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo, James Gandolfini, Forest Whitaker, and Paul Dano. The movie is a live action adaption of the book. The movie will be released in Imax and conventional theaters on October 16th, 2009.
The second movie is: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is also based on a book but will be adapted in 3D animation. The movie is about an inventor who tries to make an invention that will change the world. The movie stars Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Neil Patrick Harris, and Mr. T. The movie will be released in Imax and conventional theaters on September 18th, 2009.
How do these two movies impact Imax earnings?
Revenue: This year, movies shown on Imax have contributed around eight percent of the total box office revenue of movies released. Transformers is around eight and a half percent currently and Night at the Museum was eight percent.
Where the Wild Things are should gross around $125 million in its theatrical run. I would guess five to eight percent of that would be on Imax Screens. That would mean $6.25 to $10 million. Transformers, in perspective, just crossed the $40 million mark on Imax screens but it was a larger budget movie.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs should gross around $80 million in its theatrical run. I would guess a higher percent since the movie is being shown in 3D which typically do better on IMAX screens (Monsters vs. Aliens). Seven to ten percent would be my guess which would represent a gross of $5.6 to $8 million on Imax screens.
Lineup: Imax has done well to secure big studio releases in 3D and conventional form which can generate more revenue than the documentaries shown on Imax screens. The 2009 Imax season has been very strong so far with Star Trek, Monsters vs. Aliens, Transformers 2, and Night at the Museum 2 posting strong box office results so far.
The rest of 2009 certainly looks strong with Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince coming soon to Imax. Other 2009 Imax movies include: A Christmas Carol and Avatar plus the aformentioned Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Where the Wild Things Are. There are still two gaps in 2009 release schedule that can be filled with movies to generate more revenue.
I recommended this stock previously and made it one of my top ten stocks for 2009. The stock has doubled since that period. I still remain optimistic about the stock and think it is headed towards $10-$12. This would be and additional seventeen plus percent gain on the stock price.
When results are released from the next quarter the stock could make a nice run that day. Buy some on any pullbacks. Anything below $8 would be a strong buy.
Disclosure: Long IMAX