So Avatar has been taking over the box office for the last week and a half. I hope it has the legs to supplant Transformers 2 as the top film of the year. It deserves to be the biggest box office draw of the year.
Avatar is the first film, I think, to be available in all formats. 2-D, Digital 3-D, Real 3-D and IMAX 3-D. Now believe it or not there is a substantial difference and I'm not referring to 2-D vs 3-D.
The non-IMAX versions have a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. If you've seen movies like Transformers, Twilight or The Blind Side they were in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio where the screen is more rectangular then square. When seeing the film it is very much like watching a film. It's comparable with Beowulf or A Christmas Story in 3-D.
The IMAX 3-D version of the film is 1.78:1. In this case, the entire screen is used which is square. Cameron supervised the transfer so that information is not lost when comparing the 2.35:1 and 1.78:1 version. True Lies and Titanic were shot in Super 35 which did not lose any info when shown in the traditional pan and scan on television. Now the major difference is that the 3-D coupled with the enormity of the screen, you are immersed into Cameron's world like no other feature film before it. It doesn't matter if you see it in true IMAX or faux IMAX, either works fine. When in a faux-IMAX theatre I suggest sitting in the front four rows for the true IMAX experience.
To truly appreciate Avatar, it should be seen in a theatre and in IMAX 3D. This was not a ploy to bring in more money, this truly shows just how great the medium can be when put in the right hands. I for one am glad it's doing so well because Cameron says he already has two more films in development.