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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Most of this information has been discussed previously in this forum, but I felt it worthwhile to consolidate it into a dedicated thread because the question comes up frequently.

The following is a list of movies presented on Blu-ray or Ultra HD with a variable aspect ratio - specifically those that periodically transition from 2.35:1 to expand in height for a pseudo-IMAX effect.

Movies with IMAX Variable Aspect Ratio on Blu-ray or Ultra HD (and Some Streaming)

The Aeronauts (digital streaming)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (3D only)
Aquaman (2D Blu-ray, Ultra HD, and streaming)
Batman v. Superman - Dawn of Justice (IMAX Enhanced 2021 remastered Ultra HD and streaming only)
Black Panther (3D only)
Captain America: Civil War (3D only)
Captain Marvel (3D only)
The Dark Knight (Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Doctor Strange (3D Only)
Dunkirk (Blu-ray and Ultra HD, ratio switches between 2.20:1 and 16:9)
First Man (Blu-ray, Ultra HD, and streaming)
Ghostbusters [2016] (2D, 3D, Ultra HD, and IMAX Enhanced streaming edition)
Guardians of the Galaxy (3D only)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3D only)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Blu-ray only)
Interstellar (Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Mission: Impossible - Fallout (Blu-ray, Ultra HD, and streaming, ratio switches between 2.40:1 and 1.90:1)
Mojin: The Lost Legend
Spider-Man: Far from Home (IMAX Enhanced streaming edition only)
Star Trek into Darkness ("Compendium" Blu-ray box set, Ultra HD Blu-ray, and IMAX Enhanced streaming edition)
Tenet (Blu-ray and Ultra HD, ratio switches between 2.20:1 and 16:9)
Thor: Ragnarok (3D only)
Transformers: Age of Extinction (3D Blu-ray and IMAX Enhanced streaming edition only)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Walmart-exclusive "Big Screen Edition" Blu-ray only)
Tron Legacy (both 2D and 3D)
Wonder Woman 1984 (streaming, ratio switches between 2.40:1 and 1.90:1 )

2.35:1 Movies with Frame-Breaking Visual Effects That Intrude into the Letterbox Bars

G-Force
Ghostbusters [2016] - Also has one scene that changes aspect ratio completely.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3D) - Some scenes change aspect ratio completely. Others remain 2.35:1 with frame-breaking effects into the letterbox bars.
Pixels - Primarily a 2.35:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to an even wider ratio so that visual effects can break the frame.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [2014] - Primarily a 2.35:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to an even wider ratio so that visual effects can break the frame.

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but Are Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

Alien: Covenant
Alita: Battle Angel
The Amazing Spider-Man
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Aquaman (3D only)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016 2D, 3D, and Ultra HD releases, plus streaming)
Captain America: Civil War (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Captain Marvel (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Black Panther (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Doctor Strange (2D)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2D)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Ultra HD and Australian Blu-ray edition are Constant Height 2.35:1)
Iron Man (2018 IMAX re-release)
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Riddick
Seventh Son
Spider-Man: Far from Home (2D, 3D, and Ultra HD)
Star Trek into Darkness (Initial 2D and 3D Blu-ray editions, any versions except the "Compendium" Blu-ray box set or the Ultra HD)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Thor: Ragnarok (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (General retail Blu-ray and Ultra HD, any version except the Walmart "Big Screen Edition" Blu-ray)

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with an Open-Matte 1.90:1 Aspect Ratio (Entire Length of Movie) but Are Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

1917
Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Infinity War
Baahubali: The Conclusion
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Blade Runner 2049
The Eight Hundred (film was 2.11:1 in IMAX theaters but is 2.35:1 on the Hong Kong Blu-ray)
Flight Crew (2016 Russian film, no home video release in America)
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (most releases aside from Hong Kong 2D and 3D Blu-ray Limited Editions)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2.0:1)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2.0:1)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2.0:1)
I, Frankenstein
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Oblivion
Only the Brave
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Prometheus
Saaho (digital streaming)
Skyfall
Sully
Tomorrowland
Underworld: Awakening
Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with an Open-Matte Aspect Ratio (Entire Movie) and Are Open-Matte on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

Avatar
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (Hong Kong 2D and 3D Limited Edition Blu-rays only)
Titanic (3D only)

Movies that Have a Variable Aspect Ratio on Blu-ray or Ultra HD but Are Constant Height 2.35:1 on Digital Streaming

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Black Panther
Captin America: Civil War
Captain Marvel
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
Doctor Strange
Dunkirk (2.20:1)
Ghostbusters [2016]
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Interstellar
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Tenet (2.20:1)
Thor: Ragnarok
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Misc.

The Lion King [2019] - Played in IMAX Laser theaters with an aspect ratio that varied from 1.85:1 to 1.43:1. Blu-ray and Ultra HD editions have a constant 16:9 ratio.

Movies with Home Video Status TBD

Variable Aspect Ratio in IMAX Theaters:

Black Widow (2021)
Dune (2021)
Eternals
Lost in Russia
No Time to Die

Fully Open-Matte 1.90:1 in IMAX Theaters:

Assassin in Red
Detective Chinatown 3
The Rescue
Top Gun: Maverick

I will update this list as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Other (Non-IMAX) Variable Ratios Movies

(500) Days of Summer - Primarily a 2.35:1 with some scenes pillarboxed to 1.20:1 or 1.50:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form. Streaming copies in some international territories may not be Constant Height safe.

All Hallows' Eve 2 - Movie alternates between 2.35:1 (present day timeline) and 16:9 (flashbacks). Not Constant Height safe.

An American Pickle - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie but opening scenes are pillarboxed 4:3.

Apollo 18 - Movie is shot in "found footage" faux-documentary style and varies in aspect ratio from approximately 4:3 to approximately 1.85:1 within a 16:9 container. Some shots are mildly letterboxed, some are pillarboxed, and some have black bars on all sides.

Ash Is Purest White - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie but opening scenes are pillarboxed 4:3.

Bad Education (a.k.a. La mala educación, 2004) - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to 2.35:1.

Biutiful - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to 2.35:1.

Brainstorm - Movie regularly switches between 1.66:1 (scenes in the "real world") and 2.35:1 ("brainstorm" sequences). Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Brother Bear - Opening scene is windowboxed 1.85:1, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - Primarily a 2.35:1 movie with some cutaway shots pillarboxed to 4:3 or 16:9. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Da 5 Bloods - Movie regularly switches between 2.35:1 (present day scenes) and 4:3 (flashbacks). Both are presented inside a 1.85:1 container with alternating letterbox or pillarbox bars. Not Constant Height safe.

Enchanted - Opening scene is windowboxed 1.85:1, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

The French Dispatch - Movie uses multiple aspect ratios inside a 1.85:1 container. (See entry for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Similar style used here.)

Galaxy Quest - Opening scene is windowboxed 4:3, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form. (Originally, the movie started as 4:3, then transitioned to 1.85:1 for the first 20 minutes, and finally expanded to 2.35:1 when the characters got to outer space. The Blu-ray skips the 1.85:1 step and opens the sides to 2.35:1 for all that footage.)

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Movie regularly changes aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 to 2.35:1, along with some other non-standard ratios. Played in theaters inside a 1.85:1 container with alternating letterbox and pillarbox bars. Presented that way on Blu-ray as well.

The Horse Whisperer - First half hour is windowboxed 1.85:1, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

JFK - Opening scene is windowboxed 4:3, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Life of Pi - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with one scene that shrinks in height to 2.35:1. This scene also has frame-breaking visual effects in the letterbox bars.

The Lion King (2019) - Played in theaters primarily at 1.85:1. The musical numbers expanded in height to 1.43:1 in select IMAX theaters. Home video releases are constant 16:9 (1.78:1) throughout.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with some scenes pillarboxed to 4:3.

The Mystery of Picasso - Movie alternates between 4:3 and 2.35:1 aspect ratios. Not Constant Height safe.

Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood - Primarily a 2.35:1 movie with some 1.33:1 and 1.85:1 scenes windowboxed within the frame. Presented on Blu-ray and Ultra HD in Constant Height form.

Oz: The Great and Powerful - Opening scenes are windowboxed 4:3, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

The Pillow Book - Was projected in theaters as 1.85:1 with some scenes letterboxed to 2.35:1. All home video transfers to date have been open matte and pillarboxed to 1.33:1 with occasional letterboxing to 1.85:1 (presented as a tiny rectangle in the middle of the screen).

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to 2.35:1.

Shin Godzilla - Primarily a 2.35:1 movie with some 1.33:1 and 1.85:1 scenes windowboxed within the frame. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to 2.35:1 and have frame-breaking visual effects.

Sneakers - Opening prologue scene is pillarboxed 4:3 (and black-and-white). After the first five minutes, the rest of the movie is 1.85:1 and in color.

Transformers: The Last Knight - The movie has at least 8 different aspect ratios, as Michael Bay decided that any shot could have any arbitrary shape depending on which camera he used and what his mood was that day. Played in theaters inside a 1.85:1 container with alternating letterbox and/or pillarbox bars. The Blu-ray and Ultra HD editions follow suit.

The True History of the Kelly Gang - Starts at 16:9 and gradually shrinks in height to 2.55:1.

Unicorn Store - Opening scene is windowboxed 4:3, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Netflix streaming in Constant Height form.

Waves - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with some scenes letterboxed or pillarboxed to ratios including 1.33:1, 2.35:1, and 2.67:1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Movies that play in IMAX theaters with a variable aspect ratio will play in all other movie theaters at a constant 2.35:1. As such, their photography must be primarily composed to be 2.35:1 safe, with all essential picture elements positioned in that part of the frame.

When transferred to Blu-ray, most of these movies are safe to crop to 2.35:1, either by using a CIH vertical stretch feature with an anamorphic lens, or by blanking the top and bottom of the frame with a video processor.

Unfortunately, however, some of these movies are altered so that the variable ratio version cannot simply be cropped without causing issues.

The following lists will be based on CIH viewers' results of cropping variable ratio movies to 2.35:1. Please share your experiences and opinions in the thread. NOTE: These results may be subjective. Filmmakers sometimes adjust their shot framing in post-production, and a center-crop from the Variable Aspect Ratio version of the movie may differ in some ways from the filmmaker's prepared 2.35:1 scope version. However, such differences are often not noticeable without a direct comparison.

Variable Aspect Ratio Blu-rays that Are Safe to Crop to 2.35:1

Doctor Strange (3D) - No essential picture information outside the 2.35:1 area. Can be watched in 2.35:1 without noticing anything missing.

G-Force - Because only some occasional visual effects break the frame while all other picture info remains in the 2.35:1 area, this movie should be safe to crop to Constant Height.

Interstellar - No essential picture information outside the 2.35:1 area.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout - No essential picture information outside the 2.35:1 area.

Tenet - Per member magi1500: "It alternates between 2.2 & 1.78 and I just ran the 4K UHD disc cropped to 2.2 and it looked great. I’m not sure it would work to crop all the way to 2.4 (scope). But matching the disc’s letterbox at 2.2 is good to go. No issues with the forced subs or composition etc."

Wonder Woman 1984 - No essential picture information outside the 2.35:1 area.

Variable Aspect Ratio Blu-rays that Are Mostly Safe to Crop to 2.35:1

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - The 2.35:1 safe zone was originally positioned high in the frame, not in the center. A symmetrical crop on the top and bottom may result in the top of the image being cropped a little tight on the robot characters' heads. However, the movie has such frantic camerawork and rapid-fire editing that this is rarely bothersome. Your eye hardly has time to take in an image before you've already moved onto the next 12.

Variable Aspect Ratio Blu-rays that Are Not Safe to Crop to 2.35:1

Star Trek into Darkness - The variable ratio version in the "Compendium" Blu-ray box set and Ultra HD edition has been altered in comparison to the 2.35:1 Constant Height Blu-ray editions. On-screen text has been moved both higher and lower in the frame, and extends outside the 2.35:1 safe zone. CIH viewers are advised to watch the standard 2D or 3D Blu-ray editions instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Josh. Doesn't Oz start at 1.33AR?
Correction made, thanks. I've also added a category to the first post for movies that have CIH options on Blu-ray, and made some other clean-ups, including some extra trivia on Galaxy Quest.
 

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Near the end of Ghostbusters they also switched to the expanded IMAX ratio and break the constant scope ratio.

Pixels occasionally has the scope ratio shrink in so that Qbert's nose or some alien crafts appear to break the black frame.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also has its constant scope ratio shrink a bit to make objects appear as if they are breaking the screen ratio



Sin City: A Dame to Kil For also shrinks the screen from its Flat ratio to make it appear that the playing cards near the end of film are breaking the screen


These are from my viewings of the 3D discs only
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Near the end of Ghostbusters they also switched to the expanded IMAX ratio and break the constant scope ratio.

Pixels occasionally has the scope ratio shrink in so that Qbert's nose or some alien crafts appear to break the black frame.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also has its constant scope ratio shrink a bit to make objects appear as if they are breaking the screen ratio

Sin City: A Dame to Kil For also shrinks the screen from its Flat ratio to make it appear that the playing cards near the end of film are breaking the screen


These are from my viewings of the 3D discs only
Thanks. I've made edits to the lists.
 

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Forgot about Scott Pilgrim Vs The World which is a flat format film which will consistently change ratios for battles and dream sequences to usually a scope ratio
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Forgot about Scott Pilgrim Vs The World which is a flat format film which will consistently change ratios for battles and dream sequences to usually a scope ratio
I added that one with my last update. Thanks.

I'm not sure how far I want to go with the "Other (Non-IMAX) Variable Ratios Movies" list. I fear we'll get bogged down listing every weird instance of a movie including a single scene that's pillarboxed to represent a TV broadcast or home movie or something.

My original intent for that list was just to include movies where the aspect ratio shift meaningfully affects CIH projection.
 

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Just wanted to say thanks for this thread. I just converted over to a constant height setup, and this information really helps!
 

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Great and very helpful compilation, Josh! Thanks. :)


I just repeated my request in the Oppo UDP-203 threat that Oppo might look into providing a masking option for VAR program content. I remain frustrated that too many front projector manufacturers do not provide us with adequate blanking options for VAR program content. :mad:
 

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Great and very helpful compilation, Josh! Thanks. :)


I just repeated my request in the Oppo UDP-203 threat that Oppo might look into providing a masking option for VAR program content. I remain frustrated that too many front projector manufacturers do not provide us with adequate blanking options for VAR program content. :mad:
A lot of this stuff I agree would be easy to add to a projector if they wanted to or saw a need.

I would like to see image shift using the unused pixel areas. I had this 12 years ago on my Sharp XR10X XGA projector when showing 16:9 content I could move the image up and down in the 4:3 window. So the technology is all there to program all these features. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to scale an image down and move it around on your screen just like you do a window on your PC.

We all would like different things though for me I don’t want to blank out the expanding parts of the movie, I like jumping into Imax immersion like the director wanted us to see. But I have an Imax sized screen area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Added The Force Awakens to the "Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but are Only Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray" list. I somehow forgot about that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Updated information on Star Trek into Darkness to indicate that the Ultra HD copy is also variable ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Added Batman v. Superman to the list of "Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but are Only Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray."
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've updated the list with info about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

The 2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD are Constant Height 2.35:1. The 3D Blu-ray is variable ratio.
 
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