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Are Smaller IMAX Screens Worth the Price?

Gelfond says more modest IMAX screens in local multiplexes have been around for at least six years. Despite Ansari’s outrage, Gelfond says the positive feedback from consumer testing and ticket sales at these IMAX theaters is significant.

“IMAX did 15% of Star Trek’s total domestic box office in the whole country on only 138 screens," which is less than 2% of all movie theatres, says Gelfond. "This is compared to the earlier releases of Watchmen, where we did 12% of the box office and Monsters and Aliens, where we did around 10%. Clearly a lot of people are going back to IMAX theaters.”

Gelfond also points out that not everyone shares Ansari’s views. “The overwhelming majority of comments on that guy’s blog this morning, more than 90% of them, are vehemently disagreeing with him. And consumers are confirming this with their continued purchases of tickets.”

Movie Lovers: What You Need to Know
For those confused by the differences between IMAX and traditional screens, Gelfond says the pricier IMAX experience is more than just screen size.

The version of the film projected on IMAX is different from that shown in traditional movie theaters, he says. The resolution is increased using a process called Digital Remastering, the sound quality is enhanced, and several front rows of seating are removed to improve the viewer’s experience (read: prevent neck cramps).

Budget-minded Star Trek fans should familiarize themselves with the details of the new projection system on IMAX’s web site and should check for the details at your local IMAX theater before purchasing tickets. Don't boldly go where you might be surprised by the lack of screen space.


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