We have more options for watching movies than ever before, thanks to streaming sites like Hulu, Amazon and Netflix. You can discover a new film or revisit one of your favorites from the comfort of your couch — all without forking over $7 for a box of Junior Mints.
Given the abundance of options available on our personal devices and smart TVs, it’s unsurprising that movie theater attendance is dropping off. In fact, 2017 had the lowest number of tickets sold in U.S. theaters since the mid-’90s.
Movie theaters are seeking new ways to attract customers and make the viewing experience substantially different than your best Netflix binge. Enter 4DX movies, a multi-sensory experience that lets movie-goers feel motion in synchronized seats, scents and even weather like rain and lightning.
According to the 4DX website, there are 21 possible types of effects available during a screening. However, the range of effects will vary by the auditorium.
Movement effects include seats that can roll; sway and twist; pitch; heave; “back shaker”; “bottom shaker”; “back tickler”; and “bottom tickler.”
Other effects are scents, shots of air, or air to your face.
You can feel weather such as water; rain (which is apparently different than water?); warm air; wind; snow; lightning; rainstorm; and fog.
And last but not least, you can also experience bubbles.
The company says that more than 640 films have been screened in 4DX since 2009. The majority of 4DX auditoriums are in Europe, with a smattering throughout South America and the Middle East.
A 4DX movie theater recently opened in Fresno, California. On May 24, it screened its first film, a multi-sensory version of the live-action “Aladdin.” While we’re certain that the magic carpet ride scene would have been awesome in a motion-synchronized seat, we wonder whether it was worth the price — tickets cost $24.45 per person.
Currently, the Regal Cinemas chain is offering 4DX for “Aladdin,” as well as “John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum.” Forthcoming films that will be screened in 4DX are “Toy Story 4,” “MIB: International,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” “Dark Phoenix,” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”
It sounds like 4DX could be cool to experience if you don’t mind all the seat shaking and getting sprinkled with water. Alas, the price could be prohibitive for some. Would you pay nearly $25 per person for this unique movie experience — or would you rather watch new releases on Amazon Prime from the comfort of your own home?