A new invention developed by the South Korean company CJ 4DPlex, however, has taken the viewer experience to a whole new level. Many of you have probably heard of 4D in film, but probably have not experienced it firsthand. The purpose behind 4D is to fully utilize all five of the human senses so the viewer can feel as much as possible like they are not watching the film, but experiencing it with the characters. Some aspects of 4D include your chair rocking, swiveling, and vibrating, as well as water and air being sprayed on you and smells being released from your seat. All of these actions are programmed by software to be in-sync with the action that is being displayed on-screen, so that you as a viewer feel you are taking part in the action (CBSNews and Cinemablend).
But will 4D actually catch on and ever replace 3D? The response has been positive in Los Angeles, with films like Transformers: Age of Extinction (Michael Bay, 2014) doubling box office receipts over other local regular theaters. The major drawback to 4D, however, is the expensive construction of theaters and the hefty $26.75 ticket price, which is more than even the standard IMAX ticket. This, coupled with the increasingly-declining number of audiences in theaters, suggests that the technology will not become a standard for US theaters, at least not in the near future.
Other issues for 4D include the comfortableness of audiences and the distracting nature of the format. Some audiences thoroughly enjoyed the screenings, while some complained about getting sick and damp during the experience. This issue does not surprise me, as films like Transformers: Age of Extinction went as far as emitting the smells of burnt rubber for some of the action sequences, causing some viewers to feel nauseous (Dailymail). In my opinion, I think the format could be very distracting for audiences, as they are wiping water off themselves or consumed by smells while trying to focus on the story and characters in the film.
Nevertheless, CJ 4DPlex defends the technology by stating, “Movies are now no longer bound by their visual and aural limits. 4DX is the next step in the movie-going evolution taking audiences on a journey into the full feature film. Free yourself from the confines of the flat screen and live the experience with 4DX” (Dailymail).
What do you think of 4D in cinema? Do you think of it just as a passing fad and less an evolution in the movie-going experience or as something that will possibly replace the 3D format and become a new standard? Post your thoughts below!
Cable, Simon. “Hold on to your seat…it’s the 4D cinema…” Daily Mail. 8 Oct. 2015.
8 Jan. 2015. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2902582/4D-Cineworld-multiplex-set-open-movies-featuring-weather-scents-shaking-seats.html>.
“Is 4D technology coming to a theater near you?” CBSNews. 8 Oct. 2015. 27 Sept. 2014.
Eisenberg, Eric. “The First 4DX Movie Theater Has Opened In The United States.”
Cinemablend. 8 Oct. 2015. 8 Oct. 2014. <http://www.cinemablend.com/new/First-4DX-Movie-Theater-Has-Opened-United-States-43678.html >.