I saw Bob Iger speaking about Star Wars releases under Disney and almost missed that he mentioned several stand alone Star Wars releases "based on the Star Wars characters but NOT part of the saga", in other words in addition to the remaining trilogy to complete the 3 trilogies Lucas originally mapped out. That would mean 5 or 6 additional Star Wars releases that would surely be released in IMAX. Add to that the Avatar 2 and 3 releases and the Marvel character releases and the other increasingly common billion dollar movies sure to give IMAX a big percentage and the numbers start to look very, very compelling. The business plan is finally hitting and with 1 week DMR conversions, including re-releases like Top Gun, being worthwhile due to finally reaching critical mass with the network size it is easy to see why the street is finally taking notice. It is, after all, about content when we are talking about the movie business.
I also suspect an expected earnings surprise might be part of this uptrend as well as some other announcements.
It is finally becoming fun to be an IMAX shareholder again!
If you are very long term holder... look at 2015...
March 6 - The Fantastic Four (FF originally made $330M)
May 1 - Avengers 2 (Avengers 1 made ($1,512M)
July 10 - Pirates of the Carribean 5 (PotC 4 made $1,044M)
Nov 20 - Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 (Hunger Games made $687M)
Sometime in 2015 - Avatar 2 (Avatar 1 made $2,782)
Sometime in 2015 - Star Wars VII (the last SW movie made $849M)
And if you believe it may actually happen Justice League of America in 2015 - (Dark Knight made $1,005M)
In 2012 there were about 550 IMAX screens globally, if you believe they will add about 120screens per year, that puts IMAX at about 800 screens by early 2015 globally.
Holding for long term seems to be a good idea given what 2015 looks like... In fact it might not be a bad time to buy some cinema stocks now as well and hold to 2015.
I like your analysis. I know with a volatile story stock like IMAX people love to try to make money on trading it. While I will leave to others to try to time their buys and sells of IMAX , I think investors buying IMAX now and over the last year should just sit tight. The transition Cinema is going through will play out over the next few years and, as of now, IMAX is at the top of the food chain and in an enviable position. Once their position is more widely accepted I would expect someone will try to buy them out and not in a back room but in a very visible way. My bet now is the owner of Wanda Cinemas if a Chinese buyout does not create problems but I still hold out my hope of a consortium of the top directors in the world who want to assure the future of Cinema having the Image MAXimum they desire.