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Discuss: 4D Is Coming To U.S. Theaters, Will You Care?

Discuss: 4D Is Coming To U.S. Theaters, Will You Care?

Evidently films presented in stereoscopic 3D just aren’t enough these days. Though 3D hasn’t revolutioned cinema or the box-office quite like Hollywood hoped — look at “The Amazing Spider-Man” which has had an impressive opening, but inflation and 3D prices still can’t match the old series’ opening weekends — it’s not going anywhere and it’s still going to be an excellent financial pad for generally entertaining four quadrant films (see “The Avengers,” which showed it can greatly boost a runaway hit, but was hardly the sole reason behinf the film’s success). 

Nevertheless, in the latest venture to allure moviegoers, entertainment companies are trying to step up their game with what we assume has to be the next logical step: 4D. According to the L.A. Times, South Korean conglomerate company CJ Group is finalizing a deal with a nationwide U.S. chain to create nearly 200 4D theaters in the next five years. The first theaters to open this year will be in Los Angeles, New York and several other major cities. CJ Group operates Asia’s largest theater chain, and evidently have set up shop in L.A. to market and demonstrade the 4D technology.

Before you say that Robert Rodriguez already pioneered this first with the 4D “technology” of “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World,” which employed “Aromascope” that allowed audiences to smell odors and aromas from the film via scratch and sniff cards reminiscent of the infamous 1960s “Smell-O-Vision,” CJ Group’s gimmick is a bit more involved. 4D attempts to be much less lo-tech, utilizing seats that rumble (Canadian company D-Box already has a number of these in theaters), strobe lights that flash and even blind the audience, plus gusts of air and smoke, and even water spray, that expels within the theater. 4D is apparently already a hit in places like Seoul and Mexico City and CJ Group is banking that U.S. audiences will be willing to shell out an additional $8 on top of the regular ticket for their 4D experience.

But will audiences go for it? 3D is already a huge ticket inflater and we’ll tell you right now, if we’re actually paying for tickets, we’ll take 2D thank you very much (3D technology has gotten to the point where it’s tolerable and not distracting, but it’s rare that it improves the experience, “Hugo” and “Avatar” aside). Are Americans, some already feeling gipped by 3D prices, going to spend their well-earned money on 4D? Call us skeptics, but we’d guess no, but then again with huge amounts of disposable income, well, they’ll try anything at least once. Frankly, for us it sounds like the fad to end all fads, even more ludicrous than the gimmicky Secret Cinema screenings that are currently making headlines, but maybe we’re just not the intended target audience. Thoughts? You willing to shell out an extra $8 on top of the already, rather-enormous popcorn-going prices? Do you really want to watch a movie with strobe lights, smoke and vibrating seats? Discuss.

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I'll pay $10 extra if I have to to be in a 4D theater I believe you get a better thrill and feel of the movie that way. If in the movie a boy pops a stink bomb well dammit I wanna smell it too. If super man is flying well dammit I wanna feel the air running through my face too, and if Nemo makes a splash well dammit I wanna get splashed with water.


I'd be a lot happier if they spent their money on acquiring the best writers in the world, and developing excellent scripts with character-driven narratives. It would be far cheaper, and they'd make far better films. Look what HBO and AMC have accomplished on cable television.

Heck, for 90% of all films, 3-D is, at best, meh, and, at worst, cumbersome with those darn glasses, distracting from the actual plot, and/or headache-producing. But, if they feel that they have to differentiate themselves from home movie theaters, online viewing, and pirated material, maybe 4-D is the only way they can go. It just sounds like for, at least the early stage of technology, audiences are going to have to put up with a lot of cheesy effects. Are audiences going to be willing to fork over a lot more money for these new, enhanced 4-D movie experiences? In this economy? And you want to bet that story and character will again suffer at the rush for yet another technological fix?


3D adds the illusion of depth to the cinematic experience. The first and second dimensions of sight are length (height in the appropriate context) and width. The human eye does not perceive the other dimensions said to be in existence by physicists. But if those could be "added" to a moviegoing experience I guarantee 4D, 5D, whatever will be a success. What y'all are talking about is simply engaging the audience's olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste), and tactilic (touch) senses…


I want to be a part of 'Enter the Void' in 4-D!



I'm not even a fan of 3-d … now 4-d???
I'll pass.


I saw this year's rerelease of The Phantom Menace on 4D. The sprays of water and the noise of the rumbling seats were the only way to make Jar Jar Binks even more unbearable.


When the movie is a hologram and the action appears to literally be in front of me, then I'll pay an extra $8, but not for anything short of that!


I'll wait until 5-D. When I can literally feel Catwoman's ass on my lap OR Magic Mike's crotch in my face.


Welp, add another 5 bucks to the ticket price. If I wan that, I'll go to Disney.


It sounds very theme park. Like the T2 "ride" at Universal Studios or Disney's Bug's Life thing at Animal Kingdom or Honey I Shrunk the Audience at Epcot. Fun for a seven minute excuse to get out of the Florida humidity. Any longer than that? Eh.


The only good thing to come out of the 4th dimension is the Elder Gods and the spawn of Cthulhu. Then again "good thing" is relative.


Look at the movies that are supporting the studios. They're all amusement park rides. Of COURSE something like this will exist and might even catch on, to an extent. There's "consequences" to blowing up movies like Mission Impossible 4 and Avengers.


This sounds horrendous. If I wanted this kind of shit I'd go to an amusement park.


finally theaters are going full retard

Marco Rodriguez

I am from San Diego and there is actually one down in Tijuana, I was very skeptical about it but i watched the Avengers on it and it was really fun, definitely not for every film but i had a blast.

Christopher Bell

I don't think the 3D for "Hugo" improved the experience at all, but would make a case for "Cave of Forgotten Dreams."


I already can't be bothered to pay extra money to put on silly glasses that give me a headache. Why would I pay $8 extra to watch a movie inside a haunted house?

Katie Walsh

8 more dollars to be blasted in the face with water? No danke.


3d is just a step towards turning cinema into an amusement park ride…first they make you wear silly glasses, next they put you in a vibrating chair, then comes smoke and lights…why not just remove the movie screen and put the chair on a rollercoaster…I'm joking but that's where the studios are headed…thank god for low budget indies and the growth of vod!


4D? You mean like time travel?

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