Let’s play Q&A:
Question: What happens if you happen to be the private investment firm of the Roy Disney family, not the Walt Disney Company, and you send out a press release that you’re investing in a theme park in Haifa, Israel? Answer: You get a reputable publication, the Jerusalem Post, printing an article on how the Walt Disney Company is building a Disneyland park in their country, accompanied by a stock photo of Mickey and Minnie in front of Cinderella’s Castle.
Question: What happens when SONY is partnering with IMAX on a 3D channel and Disney is putting out one of their biggest films of the year with exclusive IMAX aspect ratios? Answer: You get a financial journalist in London predicting that SONY and Disney are in a bidding war for IMAX.
Question: What happens when your brand is known world-wide for its giant size screens? Answer: You get the Chinese government advertising the Saudi Arabia pavilion at Shanghai’s World Expo as having the world’s largest IMAX screen, even though it featured digital projection from Sky-Skan, a leading planetarium and dome projection company.
Question: What happens when you reduce the size of your screens while the competition is increasing theirs and switch to digital projection? Answer: You get confusion in the marketplace as to what is IMAX and what is not. Used to be they’d remark how Cameron filmed his documentaries with IMAX cameras (did not), now it seems every 3D film is thought to be in IMAX. Allow me to present the “10 Best Movies in IMAX,” from ScreenJunkies.com (you know, those guys who provide “honest and authoritative advice”):
- Avatar (yes, this was presented in IMAX in both its original and special editions)
- Monsters vs. Aliens (one of my favorite DMR films)
- Coraline (huh? I had to go to a rinkydink conventional 3D theater to catch this one)
- My Bloody Valentine (considering that not one single Lionsgate film has hit the IMAX screen…this one’s a no as well)
- Journey to the Center of the Earth (perhaps they were confused since giant screen veteran Charlotte Huggins produced this)
- Meet the Robinsons (nope. We got Open Season instead)
- Superman Returns (this one they got right…first IMAX film to feature converted scenes done by IMAX)
- Ghost of the Abyss (sorry guys, there were multiple ghosts. But it was shown in IMAX)
- Jim Henson’s MuppetVision 3D (Jim Henson wishes. There’s a big difference between 5/70 and 15/70)
- Magic of Flight (the one IMAX film on the list not in 3D….but really? This one? Didn’t you see Race the Wind?)
Not bad guys: 5 out of 10 on your list of the top 10 IMAX films are actually IMAX films.
Now, I do want to give the site some credit. They put out another list, “Top 10 IMAX Theater Movies,” which includes:
- Space Station
- Deep Sea
- Shrek Forever After
- The Polar Express
- Ghosts of the Abyss
- Sea Monsters
- Aliens of the Deep
Although they got all the films right as IMAX films on this list, I have some serious concerns. First, these guys really seem to be jonesing for Cameron, which can be a bit unhealthy. It’s like only wanting to see the films of Greg MacGillivray or Steven Low. I know what that’s like. I’m a Ben Stassen junky myself. The other issue – how the hell did Shrek Forever After, the worst film of the franchise, and not Star Trek or The Dark Knight make it on the list? Maybe if they had left off a Cameron film….
Question: How do you educate the public what an IMAX film is in this day and age of XD’s and ETX’s and RPX’s and UltraAVX’s and digital MPX’s? Answer: Hopefully, we’ll find out soon….before there are no IMAX films left on the IMAX top 10 list.