IMAX Lives to Avenge Its Mistakes

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Marvel's The Avengers is a hit, and IMAX (NYS: IMAX) doesn't want to let it go.

Disney's (NYS: DIS) superhero flick was supposed to run on IMAX's supersized screens through tomorrow, but having a one-week run of a movie that shattered box-office records just doesn't seem prudent.

Many IMAX theaters will now simply have The Avengers share the screen with Dark Shadows when it debuts on IMAX this weekend.


IMAX learned this lesson the hard way. It had Lions Gate's (NYS: LGF) The Hunger Games slated for a limited one-week run, pulling it when Wrath of the Titans opened. By the time IMAX found a free window to bring back The Hunger Games, the meaty audiences had moved on.

This is obviously a good problem for IMAX to have. Most studios now want their most promising releases remastered for IMAX Screenings. It's a far cry from the time when there were only a handful of theatrical releases a year and exhibitors had to keep screening fading movies. Sure, studios may grow cautious if they see their slots bumped or their screen time forced into a sharing situation, but IMAX is more interested about making exhibitors happy and rewarding the moviemakers who crank out hits.

It will be moves like this, after all, that draw more theater owners into striking screen deals with IMAX.

After a horrendous 2011 for multiplex operators, 2012 is off to a strong start, and IMAX is going along for the ride. Analysts see the company's profitability more than doubling to $0.92 a share on a 25% spike in revenue.

Avenge away, IMAX. Moviegoers are apparently watching.

Feature presentation
I've been a believer in IMAX for years. It's been a market-beater both times I've recommended IMAX as an investment to Rule Breakers newsletter subscribers.  As part of the CAPScall initiative for accountability, I've also had a bullish IMAX call on Motley Fool CAPS for some time.

If you're ready for a different kind of feature presentation, ask yourself if you know the two words that are scaring the pants off of Steve Ballmer. It's a free report, but like a hot theatrical release, it won't be showing forever, so check it out now.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of IMAX and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Disney. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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