by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 13th 2009 12:55pm
We've been big supporters of the idea that Hollywood and the movie theaters should be investing more in providing experiences like super large screen IMAX theaters, because that enhances the movie-going experience well beyond what can be replicated with a home theater today. And, indeed, we're starting to see some of that. However, it appears that some theaters and perhaps IMAX itself, have gotten the wrong message out of all of this. Via Digg, we're alerted to someone complaining that he drove out of his way and paid an extra $5 at an AMC theater in order to see the new Star Trek movie in IMAX. Except... he discovered it wasn't actually the IMAX that we all think about when we hear the word. A little investigating turned up the news that IMAX and some theaters have started marketing IMAX's new digital theater projection system as an IMAX-branded experience, despite it being nothing like what most people think of when they hear the word IMAX. It's difficult to see how that's not a deceptive and unfair business practice by IMAX and AMC -- especially when they're charging an extra $5 for it.
What's really stunning is that IMAX would risk such massive damage to its brand with this stunt. It's difficult to fathom how massively such a move could backfire on a company whose brand image is probably its most valuable asset.
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