LOS ANGELES -- CJ CGV, the multiplex chain operating arm of CJ Group, said Wednesday it has signed a contract with Regal Entertainment Group, the largest movie theater operator in U.S., to increase the number of the homegrown 4DX theaters to 20 by the end of 2018.
The 4DX theaters, developed by CJ in 2009, provide various sensory effects, including scented mist, seat motion and vibration, as well as splash of water while watching the film.
Moviegoers enjoy watching film at 4DX theaters. (CJ CGV)
Through the partnership between the two, new 4DX theaters are expected to start operating at Regal branches in major cities including Orlando and Seattle within this year. The U.S. movie theater operator currently has three 4DX theaters in L.A. and New York. The decision to place more of them in other U.S. cities came after witnessing growing demand for new theater experiences and rapid sales growth.
“This is the future of theater experience we have today,” said Michael Roth, vice president of Regal Entertainment Group’s marketing division, at a press conference held at LA Live Stadium 14 for Korean media.
“We evaluate this as a complete success for us, it was our intention to create an experience that no one has felt before,” he said.
Ticket prices for 4DX films are 1.4 times more expensive than those of 3-D movies, or $27.50 per person. But thanks to growing interest, the revenue of 4DX theaters in the U.S. per day was 2.4 times higher on average than regular theaters in the first half of the year, CJ said.
The contract is expected to offer a fresh opportunity for CJ, which aims to expand exports of 4DX theaters to the U.S. market.
“The U.S. is the largest movie market in the world, but the market is very exclusive to foreign technologies,” said Choi Yeon-churl, chief of CJ’s 4DX business in U.S.
“But the 4DX technology has fast gained recognition, including from directors and Hollywood stars, that the new theater experience offered by the technology is hard to resist.
As of July, CJ CGV operates 268 4DX theaters in 41 countries around the world. CJ CGV is the fifth-largest multiplex chain in the world.
By Cho Chung-un
Korea Herald correspondent