IMO, IMAX made one crucial mistake and they made it in 1967. They produced too good of a product and way before its time. It has been 52 years that they set the high bar that they still are being forced to compete against.
We who are old enough all got to see it and although they weren’t Hollywood blockbusters they were short 45 minutes of pure perfection compared to anything else in the history of cinema. To this day IMAX is competing against that.
TV at home over that same time period has improved 1000 fold. Mainstream movie quality has made immense improvements but nothing coming close where IMAX was back then.
What it had going for it was also what was going against it. It was too good and too expensive to try and be anything other than a niche market. Movies that large and immersive need slow moving action, slow pans to keep the viewer focused on what they can handle without getting ill from the realism.
I think IMAX is still committed to doing something better than the rest both in their new theaters and retrofit theaters and now the home market, but they don’t get measured against what others are trying they are measured against their 50 year old film standard. They get called LieMax because it isn’t that.
Like I said the other day it wasn’t that they didn’t want to go into the home market. They tried in the days of DVD. I have dozens of the 1.43:1 / 45 minute originals I used to play huge on an XGA projector. It wasn’t IMAX but given the rest of the tech then it was pretty impressive despite the poor resolution. We live now in a 16:9 world not 4:3 at home so you can’t blame IMAX for fitting their product into the canister provided.
The big difference now is IMAX 1.89 fills our vision as a scope movie would only with more material above and below to add in a bit of realism by filling our vision fuller. With this format they can shoot the fast action stuff and Hollywood seems to be buying into the format. The new digital cameras are not up to 70mm quality but they are gaining on it. The cost is competitive as they make the scope version at the same time they make the IMAX 1.89.
If they have an edge in the home market it will be 99.9% of people buying home media have fixed 16:9 AR TVs and don’t really care for black bars as long as there is more image not cropped image. As for the front projection minority they will have to figure out a way to deal with it if they have scope theaters. I think the simplest way is matching your projector AR to a screen with the same AR and then adopting a presentation that allows IMAX its proper immersion. Something TV folks can’t do unless they move their seats.