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Monday, April 23, 2018

CinemaCon 2018, Day 1: Cineworld / Regal + CJ 4DPlex unite in the name of 4DX

Film Flam Flummox


My first event for CinemaCon was not one on the official schedule, but one of the number of off-book, independent events that various companies put on during the week. In keeping with the Monday daytime/afternoon theme centering on international film exhibition, global exhibitor Cineworld (which owns Regal Cinemas in the United States) and South Korean 4D immersive cinema technology company CJ 4DPLEX held a signing ceremony to officially finalize a deal that will expand the number of 4DX locations across Cineworld's global footprint to 145 auditoriums. In the United States, only six Regal Cinemas locations are currently equipped with the four-dimensional technology, which adds immersive effects such as lighting, wind, water, and motion on top of standard digital 3D; under the new deal, that number will increase to 85.

Having seen a few films in 4DX, I must admit that as gimmicky as it sounds, with the right film, it can be an enhancement, for the effects are perfectly calibrated to the moment, and not just in the obvious ways. For instance, if the film shows slightly breezy conditions, the wind is accordingly subtle; more unexpected is how the motion effect seamlessly matches camera moves such as helicopter and crane shots. To date, my favorite effect is in the 4DX version of Black Panther: when Okoye (Danai Gurira) memorably flings the wig off of her head in a fight, a swift sweep of wind can be felt right behind the ear as if your own wig were literally being snatched. Needless to say, the 4DX option is not for everyone, but now at least more audiences will be able to choose the option as they see fit.

At its demonstration suite that opens tomorrow, CJ 4DPLEX will unveil its latest immersive cinema offering, merging 4DX with its three-panel immersive screen system ScreenX.

Full video of the signing ceremony with Jung Seo, CEO of South Korean exhibitor CJ CGV, the parent company of CJ 4DPLEX; Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld Group; Byung Hwan Choi, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX; and Renana Teperberg, CCO of Cineworld Group; and the ensuing press conference is below.

Stay tuned here and on my Twitter and Instagram all week for ongoing coverage of all the goings-on at CinemaCon 2018!

Jung Seo, CEO, CJ CGV; Mooky Greidinger, CEO, Cineworld Group;
Byung Hwan Choi, CEO, CJ 4DPLEX; Renana Teperberg, CCO, Cineworld Group
(photo by Michael Dequina)

(Special thanks to The Lippin Group, and very special thanks to Heather Lewandoski, Corey Barger, and the entire team at Rogers & Cowan for all their helpful and generous assistance at the convention, as well as Mitch Neuhauser and the CinemaCon crew)

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