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Blockbuster Summer Movies Have High Impact on RealD Activism

7/02/15 2:50 PM EDT
Theater technology company RealD is having a blockbuster summer, along with rival Imax, as special effect movies like Jurassic World, Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron land in a theater near you. Box office results are confounding predictions that wide-screen movie theaters will soon be dinosaurs in this age of mobile devices. Analysts expect the domestic box office to hit $11.2 billion in 2015. That's up from a slump to $10.4 billion in 2014. And yet to come this summer are Star Wars 7 and the ever-present Hunger Games installment. All those audiences, seeking the kind of thrills you get with three-dimensional depictions of star cruisers and dinosaurs, have come as a boon to RealD, which itself is in the sights of activist investor Starboard Value. With the activist putting money on the barrelhead, offering to buy RealD at $12 per share, the company undertook a strategic review. It has postponed the period during which investors can nominate directors, suggesting that the company is working with the investor. RealD, whose handiwork is on display in the 3-D versions of Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road and the Avengers, may well find, however, that the boom at the box office has changed the calculus from last year when Starboard first showed up and started pressing for changes. This year, Hollywood could release five films grossing more than $1 billion worldwide. Candidates to join Jurassic World, Furious 7 and Avengers at the top of 2015 the box office include Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, which Lions Gate Entertainment releases on Nov. 20, and Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens Dec. 18. In the M&A market the big date is July 15, when the window for RealD board nominations closes.
Stocks in this video: RLDIMAXDISLGF
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