While there are a host of well-known giants in entertainment that you could invest in, and many of them, of course, own motion picture divisions (such as Sony Pictures), I wanted to focus here on stocks of publicly-traded companies whose business is primarily film. That is already quite the filter and removes many blockbuster companies you probably associate with the industry.
But if you want to zero your money in on various aspects of the film industry specifically – production, distribution, exhibition and more – then check out some of these names. The transition to digital technologies and online modes of delivery hasn’t stopped these cinema-focused stocks from delivering.
Cinema & Film Industry Stocks -Top Picks
Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB) – You’ve no doubt heard Dolby’s name before (get it?). This company is the industry leader in sound engineering for home and movie theatres, spanning the range of digital and 3D sound technologies. They’re also nicely diversified, with product lines that include headphone technology and game consoles.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (NYSE: DWA) – DreamWorks Animation was spun off of DreamWorks SKG in 2004. This American animation studio has released such films as Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. If you think there’s a big future in this genre, you might want to consider this studio as an investment.
Imax (TSX: IMX or NASDAQ: IMAX) – I don’t have to explain IMAX to you. But did you know IMAX Corporation is a Canadian company, headquartered in Montreal? IMAX stands for Image MAXimum, and pertains to the size of the film format itself. The unique piece about this stock is that you’re buying the film format, the special screens and projection technology as well as the theatres all in one.
Cinemark (NYSE: CNK) – Is a leader in the cinema screen industry, owning thousands of screens and theatres across the U.S. and Latin America. If you’ve been to a Century Theatre, you’ve been to Cinemark. And, they pay a nice dividend.
National CineMedia Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) – If you’ve ever seen one of those annoying ads before your film where the woman shouts out “Cut! I’ve always wanted to say that. You like movies, right?” – then you’ve watched one of the CineMedia ads. This company owns the pre-film entertainment networks which bring you the “First Look” program. If you really care, you might try helping them find some better writers.
Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund (TSE: CGX.UN) – Owns a majority (not all) of multi-screen film theatres in Canada. It is an income trust, also available in New York, which delivers a monthly income with a nice yield.
Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF) – This company started out Canadian, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. before it went south of the border. It has always been a premiere independent film distribution company which has brought such films as Crash (2004), I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009) to big screens worldwide.
Missing something? Were you looking for AMC theatres? It’s owned by The Carlyle Group. They own hundreds of real estate properties worldwide in all kinds of sectors, including defense. Fair to say The Carlyle Group is probably not a specialist in the film industry.
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