Korean company reaches 4DX milestone

Asia / Pacific Roundabout

South Korean company CJ 4DPLEX, part of the CJ Group, has announced that its leading 4DX technology is now available in 400 theatres around the world, making it the fastest-growing premium cinema format globally.

The400th 4DX location was officially launched on Sept. 8 at Wanda Cinemas in Beijing, China, with the screening of Spider-Man: Homecoming—an ideal showcase for an innovative film technology that features motion seats and environmental effects such as rain, fog and various scents.

CJ 4DPLEX said in a statement that its technology, which was only launched in December 2009, has experienced an accelerated growth rate for the past ten months, with more than ten new 4DX locations opening every month. With the latest opening, more than 49,000 4DX seats have now been installed in theatre auditoriums across 49 countries, with a capacity to accommodate more than 89 million moviegoers per year.

“Launching our 400th location has significant meaning for us, and is a testament for being the fastest-growing premium cinema format. We plan to build on this momentum and continue to thrive worldwide, with the goal to be the leading premium cinema brand in the global cinema industry in the coming years,” said Byung-hwan Choi, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX. “We look forward to seeing sustainable growth in the global market as we build solid partnerships and maintain reliable relationships with our exhibitor partners.”

4DX has simultaneously expanded into many countries around the world thanks to strategic partnerships with leading exhibitors in each market. This includes CGV with currently 72 4DX locations in Asia, Turkey and the U.S; Wanda Cinemas (66 locations in China); Cinépolis (53 locations in Latin America, the U.S. and India); Cineworld Group (30 locations in Central and Eastern Europe); VOX Cinemas (12 locations in the Middle East); and Regal Entertainment Group, which plans to operate 20 4DX-enabled locations in the U.S. by the end of 2018.

4DX runs on CJ 4DPLEX’s exclusive, self-patented software, which allows the company’s 4DX studio team to design multi-sensory seat motions and environmental effects that provide a completely immersive experience for moviegoers. Today, 20 different kinds of effects are available, including the new “Sway & Twist” motions.

China Goes Ape for War

Matt Reeves-directed sci-fi offering War for the Planet of the Apes continued to dominate China’s box office for a second week since its domestic release on Sept. 15, raking up close to $100 million by Sept. 24. However, audience interest seems to be waning as total box-office revenue dropped almost 70% since the launch week. Second place went to Lionsgate's action comedy The Hitman's Bodyguard, which earned a respectable $13.6 million during its opening week, followed at third place by Spanish thriller Contratiempo, which brought in $16.04 million by its second week, having opened on the same date as War for the Planet of the Apes. The five top earners were rounded off by Marvel superhero flick Spider-Man: Homecoming, with a net gross of $114.4 million by its third week, and long-running local action film Wolf Warrior II, which had accumulated an impressive $859 million since its release on July 27.

China’s Axel 2 Sold Abroad

Chinese 3D animated kids’ film Axel 2: Adventures of the Spacekidshas been sold to exhibitors in Italy, Russia and two unnamed Middle Eastern countries, according to its director,Li Lian, and will be screened there with English subtitles. The movie, which is a sequel to Li’s Kunta (2013), is slated for release across China on Oct. 1. Axel 2 is set on a remote planet where three cute aliens under the leadership of the titular Axel search for the last seed of a magical tree.

Speaking about his work, director Li said, “When I began making computer-generated animated films back in 1993, I felt that domestic animators still had a long way to go to catch up with Hollywood. But now I feel glad to see that the gap is shrinking." Li might be onto something. Axel 2 had limited preview screenings in Beijing and other select cities on Sept. 16 and 17 and reportedly earned a cushy $604,000 during those two days.

For inquiries and feedback, contact Thomas Schmid at thomas.schmid@filmjournal.com.