So...actor-comedian Aziz Ansari, who some believe to be the real star of Parks and Recreation, went to see Star Treklast 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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