11:02pm PT by Gavin J. Blair
4DX Screenings of 'Last Jedi' In Japan Offer Light and Dark Force Versions
Star Wars fans in Japan can choose between light or dark sides of the Force versions for 4DX screenings of The Last Jedi, with the immersive special effects tailored to give audiences separate perspectives.
The two versions are delivered in the same theaters and fans have been split 50-50 on whether to experience the film from the light or dark side. The vibrations, tilts, wind, fog, strobe and other effects enhance differing aspects of the onscreen action for the light and dark side of the theaters. Light saber battles create differing reverb effects for the two sides, while the atmosphere will differ for scenes on First Order ships and Rebel bases.
The Star Wars reboots have done good business in Japan, where The Force Awakens finished just shy of $100 million. The idea for the light and dark sides of the Force versions of The Last Jedi was born out of discussions between Disney Japan and 4DX on how to market the eighth installment of the epic sci-fi franchise.
The Last Jedi has topped the Japanese box office since its Dec. 15 release and taken in more than $55 million so far, performing far better than it has done in China's much larger market. Ticket prices for the 4DX versions are ¥2,800 ($25) for 2D and ¥3,200 ($28.85) for 3D, a premium of more than $10 over regular screenings.
Japan was an early adopter of 4DX, the immersive environmental effects technology from South Korea's CJ Group, and has become one of its most important markets.
The light and dark versions are Japan-only and there are currently no plans to show them elsewhere.