Originally Posted by AaronMK
A lot of this "fill my screen" mentality would have been heresy even just a few years ago. I thought we had won that war a long time ago. I remember being an early adopter of DVD happy that OAR releases were not a specialty time, but people who would come over to watch the would see the black bars and be upset that the screen wasn't filled.
Even before Blu-ray launched, and even before 16x9 TVs were common to reduce the unused space, people seemed to understand the reasoning for the black bars, and separate pan and scan releases (and inclusion on the discs) had pretty much gone away. It was all OAR, and at least since Blu-ray's launch, I don't recall anytime where someone even mentioned the black bars or a preference for pan and scan. Bars to preserve the OAR of content when needed had just become the new normal.
It seems like IMAX has really muddied the waters on this. In theaters, the square footage of used screen is so large even when some is unsed due to 2.39:1 on CIW or 1.85:1 on CIH that it does not even enter the head of 98.76% of people viewing it. They see a large screen. (Even without masking.) I makes me pretty skeptical that filmmakers who want the taller ratio for IMAX also want scope for screen usage considerations elsewhere, especially at the cost of having to crop more of the image, when there will be absolutely nothing gained on the large portion of CIW screens, and when it will be and added burden to shoot "scope safe".
While this probably goes into conspiracy theory territory, I get the impression that IMAX pushes for 2.39:1 on the non-IMAX screens so they differentiate what you will see in the IMAX screens to a much greater and more obvious extent. When a taller than 2.35:1 ratio on a home release becomes an "IMAX question" with the answer being "no", it seems they want to differentiate from anything that is not IMAX branded, and are holding their masters closer to the chest.
One thing Warner, Sony, Disney, IMAX and all the rest do not know is when someone purchases a media disc from them is what you are going to do with it. They don’t know if you have a front projection home theater with IMAX immersion levels and all the IMAX gear to go with it or if you have a 19” TV and sit 10’ away from it and it has one tiny speaker. Once the movie has past thru their controlled venue it is of no concern to them how you view it.
The idea IMAX has a branding to uphold is valid and thinking about someone playing an IMAX movie on a 19” TV might make the hair stand up on the back of the IMAX teams necks. Likewise Scope and even Flat presentations were not intended for TV and the companies making them have a branding to that product to think about.
But the bottom line is it is out of their control and IMAX can leave their 1.43 and 1.89 movies collect dust and never be seen again unless they want to play them over and over year after year like they did their nature and science movies.
The real money to be made is hitting the secondary market at the right time be it hard media or be it streaming or a combination of both and actually the trend is moving away from hard media.
The thing about IMAX framing of these 1.89 movies and where it differs from pan n scan is nothing is being taken away it is only being added. IMO it is correct to say the scope version does have stuff taken away and in a few the movie is not just center cropped there is some image shifting done just like pan. The difference is the idea of “Scope Safe” meaning the director approves of the cropping and in some cases evidently he approves of it as being better.
All I ask is if that version is better please toss the 1.89 cut in the clipping basket right from the get go and show the scope movie in all venues including IMAX and then put the good version on hard media and streaming. Likewise if an IMAX1.89 is put out there and touted as the best experience then why in the world encode black bars where image should be on my disc. It really IMO has nothing to do with filling a TV screen that is just a good consequence that might help them sell media.
TV doesn’t do justice to any movie regardless of AR. Now that there are 85” TVs it is getting better. Even home theaters seldom have screens 40’-80’ tall. So if IMAX is ok with us seeing their 1.43 masterpieces on DVD as they once sold and now cropped down to 1.77 and put on BD I doubt they will have issue with Hollywood movies.