Aziz Ansari Launches Rant Against IMAX, CEO Nonchalantly Responds
So...actor-comedian Aziz Ansari, who some believe to be the real star of Parks and Recreation, went to see Star Trek last weekend on IMAX. But what he got wasn’t the super-sized screen many of us expect from the brand but one of the much smaller digital screens the company has used to expand its reach in recent years and become a force in theatrical distribution.
He wasn’t pleased. He demanded a refund for the IMAX-ticket surcharge, which varies by theater, and proceeded to blog angrily on Tumblr.
“Boycott them,” he wrote. “Fuck them for taking advantage of people and
charging them $5 extra.”
Several outlets picked the story up, and 1,400 comments followed. Not long after, so did a statement from Richard Gelfond, IMAX CEO, who didn’t even bother to disagree with the charges. “The overwhelming majority of comments on that guy’s blog this morning, more than 90% of them, are vehemently disagreeing with him,” he said. “And consumers are confirming this with their continued purchases of tickets.”
Ansari, incredulous, challenged him to a televised debate.
In truth, Ansari, who also had a memorable part in Observe and Report this year, tapped into a debate regular filmgoers have had for years. The large majority of movies aren’t shot to fix IMAX screens (select parts of The Dark Knight are the notable exception), so the company has been able to justify the smaller screens with promises of superior sound and picture. And so far, whatever the validity of Ansari’s rant, they’ve largely gotten away with it.
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