Today some news is being spread around the MCU side of social media on the Internet that the in-flight version of Avengers: Infinity War that’s showing on many airlines is using the IMAX aspect ratio. While the footage in that version does fill the small screen on the airplane seats, it’s unfortunately not the full IMAX version of the movie.
What’s playing on airplanes is actually the broadcast version of Avengers: Infinity War that you’ll see on cable when the movie eventually starts running non-stop on FX around the time a new superhero movie is in theaters. That means that while, yes, it does include more information at the top and bottom of the screen; it’s still cropped at the sides to avoid black bars in the image.
Some of the international digital releases (such as in Russia) are also in the broadcast ratio as opposed to IMAX. That means the 1.9:1 image was cropped to fit a 16:9 screen without any visible black bars. Anton Volkov of Trailer Track did a great comparison in this Twitter thread to show how it was strangely cropped and modified:
okay so I did a proper comparison between the and the Blu-ray using 1.90:1 as base frame and this broadcast master really weird. Some shots are indeed ‘IMAX’ – 1.90:1 cropped to 16:9 – but some are cropped down even further. Probably trying to get rid of > pic.twitter.com/tiWzjDh2pu
— Anton Volkov (@antovolk) August 11, 2018
This “IMAX” clip isn’t actually “IMAX”. This too is taken from one of the international digital versions that have the broadcast aspect ratio for the movie, meaning that it’s still cropped and not the true IMAX image as it would have black bars at the top and bottom of the screen if it were:
So unfortunately you won’t see the real IMAX version of Avengers: Infinity War even if you’re on an airplane. Right now it’s possible the UK 3D Blu-ray release will be in the IMAX ratio, but we’ll just have to wait for that to be released to know for sure.