Originally Posted by sage11x
So, what you're telling me is that it is your opinion that IMAX just took some extra image at the top and bottom of the frame and slapped an IMAX logo on it and called it a day?
Well, yeah, that's the IMAX modus operandi in a nutshell.
Filmmakers today have a choice of composing their movies for either 1.85:1 or 2.40:1. For the most part, the studios don't care which they choose. The Marvel franchise is predominantly 2.40:1, but The Avengers and Ant-Man were both 1.85:1, and a few others had the variable ratio gimmick. So it's not like Marvel or Disney have any sort of aversion to letting its filmmakers shoot at 1.85:1. The movie's going to play in the same number of theaters regardless.
Outside of IMAX theaters, both Infinity War and Endgame, as well as all the movies with variable ratio, were projected at 2.40:1. This means that the overwhelming majority of the first run audience saw them at that ratio. By necessity, the movies have to be composed first and foremost for 2.40:1, with no crucial picture information outside those frame lines. The IMAX version then exposes some extra picture at the top and bottom that largely amounts to a lot of empty headroom and footroom.
Here's a comparison I made a while ago from Star Trek into Darkness:
The difference between these two amounts to this:
Yup, that's it. Nothing of consequence there.
In a proper IMAX theater, the screen is meant to be so large that those parts fall off into a viewer's peripheral vision anyway. However, on a typical theater screen size, and especially in home viewing, the extra headroom often makes the composition look weird because actors' faces are suddenly too low in the frame.
In the Star Trek example above, Spock's face is much better positioned in the 2.40:1 framing.
There is just too much pointing to the fact that the Russos made these movies with both aspect ratios in mind.
I can believe that they composed for one ratio while consciously protecting for the other. It's up to you to decide which you believe is which.
The Russos, marketing or not, have paid lip service to the IMAX versions having an advantage over the wide release DCI 2.35:1.
If you'd like, I can point you to an interview where William Friedkin vehemently asserts that he always intended The French Connection to be tinted purple, and anyone who disagrees with him is an f'ing idiot. The film's cinematographer had some choice words to say about that, and the movie was later re-released without the stupid purple tint. Sometimes you have to take the things directors say with a grain of salt.
And none of this changes the fact that I'm the customer. Disney, I want the IMAX version. Take my money damnit!