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Immersive Theater Technology Debuts in U.S. With ‘Jumanji: Next Level’

French multiplex company CGR Cinemas has selected Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” as the first Hollywood film to be shown in the United States with its Immersive Cinema Experience technology.

The announcement was made Tuesday by execs from AEG, Sony and CGR at the Regal LA Live in downtown Los Angeles, which was named earlier this year as the site for first film in the ICE Theaters format.

Launched three years ago by CGR, the immersive format works with five LED-panels flanking each side of an auditorium, filling peripheral vision with complementary colors. The panels are being made by CGR at an in-house post-production house in La Rochelle, France. CGR said that ICE auditoriums account for 32 of its total 680 screens, but generated 75% of CGR’s box office revenue in 2018.

Jumanji: The Next Level,” with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart reprising their roles, opens on Dec. 12.

“Experiencing films in the ICE Theaters format brings a unique and exciting cinematic experience to get movie fans out of the home and into the theater,” said Scott Sherr of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group. “We’re excited to give consumers a choice to see ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ in this compelling way only in theaters.”

The Regal LA Live complex was also one of the earliest sites with 4DX technology from Korea-based CJ 4DPlex. In addition to a RealD 3D theater installation, each seat in the auditorium is designed to tilt, shake and vibrate, in time with what is happening onscreen. CJ 4DPLex is currently operating in 678 theaters.

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