Sunday, September 16, 2018

Stop everything! We interrupt our regular posts on leasing costs, tax reform, revenue recognition, and the like to bring you the really important stuff — like, which films are hitting the biggest of the big screens in 2019!

There we were, skimming the latest quarterly report from IMAX, when we saw it in the Management Discussion & Analysis, right there on Page 54: a complete list of all films IMAX currently plans to release in 2019, with planned release dates.

After all, IMAX makes its money from distributing films, so why wouldn’t its looming lineup be something worth discussion in the MD&A? IMAX has firm plans to release 45 films in 2018, and is working to release as many as 60 when all is said and done. (That would be comparable to the 60 films it distributed in 2017.)

So far the company has announced 17 films for 2019. Among the notables:

  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix, coming out in February. Looks like a continuation of the next generation of X-Men films starring Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, which makes us wonder about the supposed reboot Disney might do with the franchise once it gets its clutches on all those assets from 20th Century Fox.
  • Captain Marvel, coming in March. In this film, Captain Marvel carries the hopes and dreams of millions of Disney investors praying she can keep the Marvel Studios juggernaut rolling out one blockbuster after another into the 2020s.
  • Avengers 4, coming in April. Captain Marvel will appear in this film too, so see our above line about hopes and dreams and investors and blockbusters.
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home, due out next July. We have been saying this for months — everyone who dies in Avengers: Infinity War has to come back, because their sequel films are already on the books!
  • Frozen 2, in November 2019. Hey, the first film grossed $1.3 billion. With numbers like that, you knew Disney execs would review a sequel proposal and let it go.
  • Star Wars: Episode IX, coming in December 2019. Well, fine, but we’re still waiting for a Jabba the Hutt solo film. Long overdue.

So on a more serious note, it’s interesting to see the deep ties IMAX has to Disney. Eight of the 17 titles IMAX has confirmed so far for 2019 are Disney titles. More important is that another three titles are from 20th Century Fox — so when Disney does take full control of those assets from the Fox-Disney merger (which investors approved earlier this summer), that will be 11 of 18 films. Disney will be an enormously important partner for IMAX.

Food for thought, along with the popcorn you grab on your way to see Venom or First Man. IMAX is releasing both of those next month.

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