Opinion – “IMAX Digital vs. Cinemark XD” by Delon Villanueva
In 2008, IMAX Digital was introduced to movie theater chains, and people responded in confusion and uproar. Soon after its arrival, comedian Aziz Ansari wrote a rant on how he was disappointed to see that at his showing of Star Trek, his local IMAX theater was much smaller than he expected, yet he still was paying the price of a regular IMAX ticket. He realized that this was a fake IMAX, a.k.a. “Lie-MAX,” and that the IMAX corporation needed to address this somehow, such as promoting it as a smaller type of screen. We’ve come to call this new format IMAX Digital. This lead to many other movie theater chains to create their own big digital format theaters without actually calling it IMAX. A significantly popular one is called Cinemark XD. Cinemark introduced their big format theater in late 2009, in competition with IMAX Digital. IMAX reacted by filing a lawsuit against Cinemark, but Cinemark did it right back. Both were in negotiations to bring IMAX Digital to their theaters, but instead, Cinemark did it themselves under their own name. Why this, though? Aren’t they two completely different formats? Is there even a better one over the other? Well, I finally got the chance to try out the XD theater at a 3D screening of Prometheus, and now I can finally make a detailed analysis.