Last week, spurred by Actor/comedian Aziz Ansari‘s experiences with Digital IMAX, we published an article titled “Why You Probably Shouldn’t Waste $5 More For Digital IMAX .”
To recap: IMAX has been retrofitting traditional movie theaters, moving the screen up a few rows, installing improved sound systems, but the result is nothing near that of a traditional IMAX theater. In fact, the two 2K-resolution Christie projector set-up is said to not look anywhere as good as the Sony 4K digital projectors which are now being installed in AMC and Regal theaters nationwide.
Moviegoers are expected to pay the same $5 IMAX surcharge, and given no indication of if a theater is a traditional 70mm big IMAX screen or one of the mini retrofitted digital screens. IMAX has responded like a company which has completely lost touch with the consumer, basically saying ‘All the Hollywood studios want to work with us, and we’re making record profits… so what?!’
But the reason why consumers pay the extra $5 is for the big screen and superior image quality. If you poll 100 people at an IMAX theater, most of them will tell you that they see movies in IMAX “because of the big screen.” IMAX is diluting their brand and angering consumers in the process. I’ve had friends who didn’t know the difference tell me they’ll never waste their money ever again on “IMAX” after paying to see a movie on one of the smaller digital screens.
I think IMAX needs to openly disclose the information to the consumers, giving the digital theatres a name brand of their own. Something open and honest like “IMAX Mini Digital Theatres.” Charge $13 instead of $15. It’s not the same experience, it shouldn’t be the same price.
Discuss: Obviously, the company is handling this all wrong. How should they combat this huge wave of negative criticism?