CinemaCon: 4DX Targeting U.S. Market

Iron Man 3 Trailer Screengrab - H 2012

Iron Man 3 Trailer Screengrab - H 2012

4DX is aiming to push its immersive cinema system into the U.S., starting with a focus on Los Angeles and Miami, company representatives said at CinemaCon.

The system is designed to put audiences into a film's environment with motion, wind, fog, lighting and scent-based effects.

But a big issue for exhibitors will be cost. A 4DX installation for a 200-seat auditorium runs a whopping $1 million.

STORY: 'Iron Man 3' to Become First Film to Play in 4DX Format in Japan

The business model is such that the company shares the costs -- meaning the exhibitor’s portion is still $500,000. Then the theater charges a premium -- an average of $8 -- over the regular ticket price, and 4DX and the exhibitor splits that premium.

4DX releases have included Avatar, The Avengers and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This week, the company announced that the first 4DX release in Japan would be Iron Man 3.

According to its execs, 4DX creates the films' experience, working with the filmmakers.

There are now 42 installations in 10 countries including South Korea, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Israel, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Taiwan and Japan. 4DX hopes to add another 100 installations by year’s end, which appears to be an achievable goal since it said there are already 80 new committed screens.

Parent company CJ Entertainment hold additional entities in the media & entertainment space, including exhibitor CJV, which has 15 4DX auditoriums.