“We plan to consolidate our position as the world’s leading cinema technology company by operating 750 screens by end of 2019, capable of hosting 150 million moviegoers a year,” said JongRyul Kim, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX at a press event held in Seoul in September. The company has been in business for a decade now.
4DX is a multi-sensory theater experience that CJ 4DPLEX succeeded in commercializing for the first time in the world. The technology provides a variety of special effects in cinema, such as vibrating chairs, blowing winds, and splashing water, fog, bubbles and snow through the combination of special environment equipment and motion-chairs.
Since 2009, when the first 4DX screen was set up in Korea, CJ 4DPLEX has grown in ten years to operating 679 4DX theaters in 67 countries, through more than 100 business partnerships with exhibitors.
“4DX is growing very fast, particularly in Europe,” CGV spokesperson Kim Dae-hee told Variety. “Over the first 8 months of this year, 4DX ticket sales increased by 150% in France, compared to last year.”
4DX screenings of Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin” and “Lion King” enjoyed success not only in South Korea but also widely across the global box office. Some 2.6 million tickets were sold for “Endgame” in 4DX, while “Aladdin” and “Lion King” 4DX set a new monthly record of 3.07 million admissions. As of September 2019, 4DX titles’ have accumulated global ticket sales over 109 million admissions.
In 2012, CJ 4DPLEX introduced multi-screen theater “ScreenX,” which utilizes not only the theater’s front screen but also both of the two adjacent walls. 255 ScreenX systems are now being operated in 24 countries. Hollywood titles including “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” have screened in the innovative format.
While little local content has been converted into the ScreenX format, high-profile Korean animation director Lee Sung-gang (“Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox”) is introducing “Princess Aya,” the country’s first feature-length animation that was designed and produced in ScreenX from the outset. The animated feature will make a theatrical debut during the Busan International Film Festival.
There are also instances where 4DX and ScreenX are combined. CJ 4DPLEX is operating 18 “4DX with ScreenX” screens in territories such as South Korea, China, Japan and France.
“We plan to take every effort to discover a variety of alternative content by developing future theater models. We will try to solidify our status as the representative, global special theater fulfilling the fast-changing needs of customers, and, leading theater trends,” said Kim.