Action! Big flicks to bolster investors

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Summer long has been when blockbuster movies arrive in theaters, but 2015 is expected to be bigger than ever before. U.S. box-office revenues are expected to rise to a record $11.5 billion in 2015, according to Wunderlich Securities, which is an increase of 10.5 percent from 2014’s total.

“When it comes to the big box office, it’s all about the major franchises and brands that are already household names,” says Erik Davis of Fandango, which is an online movie-ticket seller. He says 2015 is littered with these franchises and brands, including “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Jurassic World” and “Mission: Impossible 5,” which are expected to be released between May and August 2015.

Judson H. Gee, who is the managing partner of JHG Financial Advisors, likes Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS; Price: $107.37). Disney is the parent company of Marvel Comics (“Avengers,” among other titles), and it also is behind the “Star Wars” franchise. Disney is expected to release “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in December 2015.

Eric Wold of investment firm B. Riley says an alternative play is Cinemark Holdings (NYSE: CNK; Price: $42.85), which is one of the United States’ largest chain movie-theater companies. Wold says Cinemark is poised to benefit from 2015’s blockbuster releases because of its numerous locations. It also increased its dividend recently, Wold says.

Cinemark and Disney have a mean analyst recommendation of “buy” or better, according to Zacks Investment Research.