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Imax’s upcoming presentations of Marvel’s Black Widow will feature 22 minutes of scenes in an expanded aspect ratio, meaning that those sequences will fill the entire Imax screen, while the rest of the movie will be presented letterboxed (as is not uncommon for Hollywood movies that play on Imax screens).
Specifically, the Imax scenes would appear in a 1.90:1 aspect ratio, rather than 2.40:1 — though in the case of the largest Imax auditoriums, such as the one at Universal’s Citywalk, the picture will expand but not fill the entire screen as these screens have a more square size.
It’s a continuation of Marvel’s use of large-format brand Imax. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame both used the larger aspect ratio for the entire film. Others, such as Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, used the expanded aspect ratio in portions (typically action sequences), as is the case for Black Widow, which stars Scarlett Johansson as the titular Avenger.
Imax senior vp postproduction Bruce Markoe relates that the creative choices were driven by the filmmakers — director Cate Shortland, cinematographer Gabriel Beristain and additional members of the Marvel team. He explains that this process begins with protecting for the additional aspect ratio during filming. Marvel then delivered the final film to Imax, which completed the Imax version with its proprietary DMR (Digital Media Remastering) process. Markoe notes that the filmmakers reviewed and approved this version at Imax’s Los Angeles facility in Playa Vista.
Black Widow, the first new Marvel theatrical release since 2019, opens July 9.
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