Otherwise convivial comedian turned actor Aziz Ansari (“Observe & Report,” “Human Giant”) has turned into a semi-successful theater-going crusader.
Yesterday on his Tumblr blog [via Vulture], Ansari started a war with “fake IMAX” theater owners who charge $15 per ticket for their “IMAX experience” when their specs are clearly not up to IMAX standard snuff.
“REBLOG THE FUCK OUT OF THIS. WARNING: AMC theaters are running FAKE IMAX’s and charging $5 extra for a slightly bigger screen. Boycott IMAX, AMC, and Regal. Don’t let them fool you,” he wrote.
Basically these theater owners are promoting the IMAX brand and experience and showing the pictures on 28′ x 58′ screens — just slightly larger than normal.
Now, let’s forget for a moment that 90% of these films are not shot in IMAX 70mm format to begin with and are blown up twice the size to fit the IMAX screen (you lose picture quality), the real problem here (as if this weren’t bad enough) is these theaters charging higher prices aren’t even large enough to preserve the true IMAX aspect ratio (cue A/V club outrage, no, not the Onion folks).
Basically if you’re already dumb enough to go see a movie IMAX that wasn’t shot on IMAX cameras — like Ansari did when he paid $15 to see “Star Trek” — chances are you’re doubly screwed if you’re going to see them in a AMC Regal/IMAX theater which is charging $15 for a truncated version of your already poor-man’s IMAX experience.
Ansari thinks this buuuuuuulllllshit and is pissed. His Tumblr rant got picked up the world round prompting IMAX folks to respond. You’d think they’d retort with damage control PR spin, but instead it’s more of a fuck you essentially saying, “Duh, dude IMAX has done this fraud/false advertising for six years and retards don’t care, we love their money,” which is actually kind of fair enough.
“IMAX did 15% of Star Trek’s total domestic box office in the whole country on only 138 screens [which is less than 2% of all movie theatres]… This is compared to the earlier releases of Watchmen, where we did 12% of the box office and Monsters and Aliens, where we did around 10%. Clearly a lot of people are going back to IMAX theaters… The overwhelming majority of comments on [Aziz Ansari]’s blog this morning, more than 90% of them, are vehemently disagreeing with him. And consumers are confirming this with their continued purchases of tickets.”
You gotta love it when a CEO’s rebuttal is taken from some one’s comment section and responds with, “people have voted with their stupid dollars, sorry!” The again, if you’re into louder, dumber faster cinema and want this stuff twice as BIG while you’re chugging red bulls and high-fiving with your friends during the movie perhaps you do deserve to be robbed of your money and the aspect ratio you probably never gave a fuck about in the first place. We tip our hat to Ansari for trying, but yeah, buyer beware. It’s a recession people, save yourself the five dollars [ed. Never paid for IMAX once in our lives, it’s mostly b.s. unless it’s true IMAX which is extremely rare].
Update: THR has posted a story that says, “Star Trek” — not shot on IMAX cameras — has broken the IMAX record for first week openings meanwhile acknowledging — as if this were proof in the face of Ansari and those up in arms — that this all happened as “some purists complained that the company’s big screens were not big enough.” Jeez, fuck you, much?