Talking Numbers

Pass the popcorn: Why blockbuster returns could be ahead for this movie stock

Pass the popcorn: Why blockbuster returns could be ahead for this movie stock

If 2014 is shaping up to be a weepy drama, 2015 could be a heroic epic. At least, that's one top industry exec's prediction for the film business.

So far in 2014, films have pulled in about $7.04 billion in receipts, a 5.8 percent decline in revenues compared withlast year, according to Box Office Mojo website.

But 2015 will see an "unbelievable" array of action films, according to IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster. In a recent conference call, he rattled off a list of coming attractions like "Fast and Furious 7," "Terminator 5," and "Jurassic World" as examples of what IMAX customers have to look forward to.

So will that translate into better days for IMAX, whose revenuefell 3 percent in the first half of 2014 compared with the year prior, leading its stock to slide 10 percent this year?

"If the stock were a type of movie, I would call it a 'tear-jerker,'" said Jason Rotman, president of Lido Isle Advisors. Though the upcoming 2015 film releases may be exciting, "that doesn't necessarily mean IMAX is going higher."

Rotman saidif the market were truly excited about IMAX itself, the stock would have traded above $28.50 per share this year. "Anybody who is interested in buying IMAX should wait," he recommended. "We need to see a breakout above the $28.50 resistance level. Multiple times this year, it has tried to get above it. Sellers have smashed it down. Therefore, this is a classic example of a boring, range-bound stock."

Taking a fundamental view of the name, Gina Sanchez of Chantico Global says the fortunes of IMAX are now tied to a surprising partner, Netflix. The two companies recently cut a deal with the Weinstein Company to release a sequel to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" simultaneously on Netflix and in IMAX theaters. Sanchez believes that's a sign of more to come.

"Netflix is doing everything they can to disrupt that market," said Sanchez, a CNBC contributor. "You would think that this is going to take a chunk out of IMAX's pocket…. But the fact of the matter is that people want to see big action-packed films in a theater, and the IMAX experience is the highest-end of theaters that there is."

Sanchez sees Netflix as complementary for IMAX, but a threat to smaller cinemas. "If you think about how Netflix has been disrupting this market," said Sanchez, "it really hurts the small theaters, the theaters that tend to get films that are sort of a few months out of their run."

IMAX is "the high end--and that's what survives," Sanchez added.

To see the full discussion on IMAX, with Sanchez on the fundamentals and Rotman on the technicals, watch the above video.

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