Experiential 4D cinema technology company, CJ 4DPlex, has reached a milestone with a total installation of 300 4DX screens worldwide. The 300th 4DX screen was installed at Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas and VIP, in Canada which opened recently in November 2016. This is the first 4DX screen in Canada. Now, 4DX screen is present in 42 territories globally.
4DX uses motion seats along with special environmental effects such as water, wind, snow, lighting, scents, and more.
4D and immersive motion seating has entered a rapid growth phase in 2015 and H1 2016. The total number of screens under wider 4D and immersive motion seating banner increased by 55% in 2015 to reach 679, and a further surge to 843 in H1 2016, according to IHS Markit data.
There are currently five main players in the wider market, namely D-Box, 4DX, MX4D, 4DM and E-Motion. This wider market is led by D-Box, which provides a purely immersive motion seating proposition, with a total of 528 screens installed worldwide at H1 2016 (mid-June). With a market share of 62%, its largest presence is North America with over 250 screens. 4DX stands at second with 247 screens as at June 2016, and now the number has reached 300. With around 30% market share (H1 2016), 4DX’s largest markets are in Asia Pacific, China (56 screens), Japan (37), and Korea (30).
4D and immersive motion seating currently occupies a very small 0.3% niche of the total digital screen base but with significant potential to become a key feature of leading exhibitors worldwide. CJ 4DPlex reported that its 4DX screens had generated a total of 10 million ticket sales in the first ten months of 2015. This represented a new milestone based on a calendar year and is equivalent to a 0.4% share ($150m) of total global box office from purely 215 4DX screens (based on pro rata worldwide box office for 2015). According to CJ 4Dplex, this proves that moviegoers are willing to pay extra for an upgraded service.The novelty of 4D is undeniably popular with some audience demographics but the proof probably comes in several years’ time, if 4D technology is still attracting audiences after the initial novelty has worn off. Exhibitors will base their decisions on the continuing attraction of cinema technology over time.