The fad of releasing movies in IMAX that were not shot on the larger film format or at least take advantage of the massive screen is ridiculous. It’s merely a way for studios to dupe people out of more money and pad those box-office numbers.
For example, Paranormal Activity 4 is playing locally here in Seattle in both regular theaters and the smaller, fake IMAX theaters. A screening of the film at 6:10 PM this evening in a traditional theater will cost an adult $11.50. A screening of the so-called “IMAX Experience” will cost an adult $18.00 at the exact same theater at 7:10 PM.
I saw The Avengers in both traditional and fake IMAX (at the same theater mentioned above) and the only difference I could distinguish was the fake IMAX was cranked up 150% louder, not exactly worth an additional $6.50. Jeez, just typing that makes me wince.
Here in Seattle, we are, however, lucky enough to have a massive and legitimate IMAX screen at the Pacific Science Center, but even here, films shot on traditional widescreen don’t necessarily benefit from the larger screen. I’ve seen both Avatar and Inception on this screen and while the audio is improved (far more than the fake IMAX theaters where the size of the theater does not play well with such volume), the image is no different.
Films such as The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol give good reason to see the film in these theaters as the image takes up the entirety of the screen and it sounds like James Bond’s latest outing may be just worth the additional price for the same reason.
While Skyfall wasn’t shot in a 1.43:1 aspect ratio, cinematographer Roger Deakins has revealed to Immersed in Movies, he did leave enough room at the top and bottom of the frame for it to be formatted for a larger screen:
So, no, it still won’t be the full 1.43:1, but it will be shown at 1.90:1 for the entirety of the film, giving audiences “up to 26% more of the originally captured image.” The image below, courtesy of IMAX, gives you an idea of what the difference will be.
I’ve already been informed my press screening will be in the standard 2.35:1, but with this news I will certainly be checking out an IMAX screening.