Sep 02, 2016

    S. Korea firm bets on 4DX cinema buzz


    SOUTH Korean entertainment conglomerate CJ Group demonstrated technology that boosts

    a moviegoer's experience

    at the Beijing International Radio TV & Film Exhibition last week.

    The advances - called 4DX - offer a multisensory environment with 20-odd effects, including wind, bubbles and scents.

    Each cinema chair is programmed for three

    basic movements - heave, roll and pitch.

    Choi Byung Hwan, CEO of CJ 4DPlex, said: "We do not produce VR technology.

    "But we have motion and simulation expertise, and we feel it (the 4DX

    VR technology) is a

    great chance to develop

    a new business model."

    Samsung is the current VR-facility provider for

    CJ's 4DX VR technology.

    The 4DX is now available on 273 screens in 41 countries and regions.

    On the Chinese mainland, it is in 61 auditoriums

    with 5,800 seats.

    Last year, 45 films released on the mainland used 4DX, including

    10 Chinese movies.

    Twelve Chinese films have been released in the 4DX format this year.

    Mr Choi said some filmmakers use 4DX

    from the very beginning, rather than in the post-production process.

    But he did see some difficulties. "In China,

    there are many local cinemas which compete

    on price, and not on the viewing experience,"

    he said.

    However, he added, his company would not follow a low-price strategy.

    He believed that, as

    more viewers are drawn

    to cinemas by high-quality experiences, prices will fall.

    "When I first entered the industry, I saw Imax as my teacher and competitor," said Mr Choi. "But Imax is now thriving in China and this gives me confidence."

    "At the current pace, we expect to have 2,000 4DX theatres around the world by 2020."