Bad film projection is ruining cinema, says 'Logan' director James Mangold

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Rear view of people at the cinema (Credit: Getty)

Director James Mangold is taking aim at the multiplexes, saying that basic errors in projection of movies is ruining the cinema experience.

The helmsman of movies like Logan and the recent Ford v Ferrari issued the stark takedown in an interview with Discussing Film.

“The reality of theatre projection has gotten so tragically bad in so many cases,” he said. “The fight to put your movie in a theatre that stinks and someone’s eating an enchilada next to you, half the screen is out of focus or too dim.

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“Theatrical has its own problems, which is that if it doesn’t make itself a sterling presentation that you cannot approximate at the home then theatrical kills itself without any other delivery method even competing with it. When I talk to theatre owners or theatre chains, that’s the big thing.”

He goes on to say that 's***ty delivery of movies to audiences who are paying a premium to see them on a big screen' has made the theatrical experience 'a wasteland', slating major chains who 'pay people as little as they can, they hire as few people as they can, they serve snacks that cost them 45 cents to manufacture at prices 22 times the cost of creating'.

James Mangold (Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

“Once in a while, the main theatre chain will renovate and put new equipment in. But if the people running the equipment aren’t great, trained, or even give a s**t because they’re paid so badly then the result is always going to be questionable,” he adds.

“It’s just that simple. It really doesn’t matter what filmmakers say when theatre owners are worried about whether they can pay rent next month. More than whether some spoiled filmmaker thinks that their sound is too low or the image brightness isn’t high enough. That’s not where their heads are.”

Read more: The films on streaming early because of coronavirus

Cinemas across the world currently remain shuttered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while some studios – notably Universal – have decided to side-step cinema release of their movies.

Disney has also elected to release some of its upcoming slate, including the Artemis Fowl movie, on its Disney+ platform.

However, Disney boss Bob Chapek recently stressed that it remains committed to cinemas nonetheless.

“We believe in the theatrical experience, particularly to launch big blockbuster franchise films,” he said.

“It fuels the entire Disney company, from consumer products to theme parks all the way to Disney+. And so we really think that’s the smart way to launch our big, tentpole films.”