4DX is a 4D film format developed by CJ 4DPlex, a subsidiary of South Korean cinema chain CJ CGV. It allows films to be augmented with various practical effects, including motion seats, wind, strobe lights, simulated snow, and scents. First introduced commercially in 2009, it presents films in both 3D and traditional 2D formats.
CJ has licensed the technology worldwide. As of September 2019[update], CJ 4DPlex operates 678 4DX theaters in 65 countries through partnerships with more than 80 cinemas, including Wanda Cinemas, Cineworld, Regal Cinemas, and Cinépolis. The company recorded an annual growth rate of more than 50 percent from 2013 to 2018.
In June 2011, Mexico-based Cinépolis have invested $25 million and made an agreement with the CJ Group to bring the 4DX technology to its 11 locations in the country, with the first opening in a theater in Mexico City. It marked the technology's debut in the Americas and outside the Asia region, and the technology expanded throughout Mexico since its debut. In 2019, the company announced that they would install the "4DX Screen" theater, a theater with an expanded multi-sided screen with the 4DX theaters, in the country in the summer season of 2020.
In 2012, Cinépolis has expanded its 4DX reach to South America, opening its first location at a theater in São Paulo, Brazil. The company later premiered the 4DX theater in Colombia at the El Limonar Shopping Center in Cali in July 2013. Cine Hoyts (now part of Cinépolis) opened the first 4DX theater in Chile in 2013.
At CinemaCon in March 2009, CJ 4DPlex announced that it had reached an agreement with AEG and Regal Cinemas to introduce the country's first 4DX auditorium at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles. In 2011, CJ and Regal's new parent company Cineworld announced that it planned to expand 4DX to at least 79 Regal locations. As of 2020, there is an approximate total of 33 locations throughout the United States, primarily from various Regal locations, one Marcus Theatres location in Gurnee, two Cinépolis locations, and CGV's second U.S. at The Source OC in Buena Park.
Since opening its first theater in partnership with Korona World Cinemas in April 2013, the theater chain has seen an increase in the installation of 4DX theaters. It operates 4DX theaters nationwide in partnership with large theater chains such as Aeon Cinemas and United Cinemas.
In 2017, CJ 4DPLEX partnered with France's Pathe and Norway's Nordisk Film Kino to open its first 4DX theater in Europe. It quickened its expansion in Europe by signing partnerships with Austrian theater operator Hollywood Megaplex in February 2017 and Cineworld in the United Kingdom.
CJ 4DPLEX started integrating 4DX within the Chinese market in cooperation with its parent company CJ CGV in 2006. In 2013, it signed contracts with UME, a local theater operator in China. In 2014, CJ 4DPLEX made partnerships with Woosang More, WoMai, Beijing Jinbo, and Golden Harvest. In December 2014, CJ 4DPLEX formed a partnership with Wanda Cinema, a Chinese theater operator.
In 2015, CJ 4DPLEX and Nu Metro Cinemas entered a partnership to open 5 4DX theaters in South Africa, making its debut in the African continent. It opened the first 4DX auditorium in December that year with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the V&A Waterfront theater.
At CinemaCon 2017, 4DX signed a contract with Australian theater operator Village Cinemas to open its first 4DX theater within a year. It opened at the Century City theater on 27 October 2017 with the release of Thor: Ragnarok. It was the first time that the company entered Oceania and the Australian continent, and it made the technology available to all six continents.
Box office performance
In August 2019, 4DX reached 2.7 million moviegoers. The top three performing films for 4DX in August were Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, The Lion King, and Aladdin. The local films The Bravest and One Piece: Stampede performed well in China and Japan.
As of 6 August 2019[update], the top five movie titles of 4DX global box office hits in the first half of 2019 were:
- Avengers: Endgame ($34,705K)
- Aladdin ($24,759K)
- Aquaman ($21,301K)
- The Lion King ($16,841K)
- Captain Marvel ($14,133K)
In 2018, the company attracted a cumulative 24 million viewers a year, recording $290 million in box office revenue. In July 2019, the company attracted 3.07 million viewers and $38 million in ticket sales globally.
The 4DX technology has expanded to virtual reality, also known as 4DX VR, which utilizes a set of specific 4DX model seats consisting of VR headsets, similar to that of virtual reality amusement rides, and is described to be the "world's first VR cinema". First showcased at the AAE 2017 and later IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017, it plays exclusive virtual reality-produced films, short films, as well as games and movie trailers. There are at least six versions of the 4DX VR technology brand: Disk for horizontal rotation, Ride which consists of four-to-eight seats on a 6 axis motion platform, Racing for presentations focused on the racing genre, Sway and Twist in which seats enable twist and side movements, Motion Chair which is a singular 4DX chair consisting the VR headsets, and Sports for sports-focused presentations with specific bike, snowboard, and kayak designs.
The 4DX Screen technology (formerly 4DX with Screen-X) combines the multi-screen projection, known as ScreenX, and the motion seats in a singular theater. It was first introduced in 2018 and made its debut in CinemaCon 2018.
- 2014: 4DX won the I3DS (International 3D and Advanced Imaging Society) "Cinema Innovation of the Year" award.
- 2015: 4DX won the Edison Awards, Silver Prize for Media and Visual Communication Entertainment Category.
- 2017: 4DX was chosen as one of "The Most Innovative Companies of 2017" for the Live Events Category by the magazine Fast Company.
- 2018: 4DX and ScreenX won the Edison Awards, Silver Prize for Media and Visual Communication Entertainment Category.
- 2018: 4DX won the "Innovation Technology of the Year Award" at Big Cine Expo.
- 2019: 4DX and ScreenX won the iResearch Award, Originative Cinema Technology Category.
- 2019: 4DX was chosen as one of "The Most Innovative Companies of 2019" for the Live Events Category by Fast Company.
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