4DX, an immersive theater technology from CJ 4DPLEX, featuring motion seats and environmental effects, has had a strong impact on the growing Japanese box office. For example, the 4DX version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, released in December, has thus far brought in more than 1 billion yen ($85 million USD), accounting for more than 10% of the title’s total Japanese box office to date. Overall in 2015, 4DX versions of top Hollywood titles such as Jurassic World, Furious 7 and Mad Max: Fury Road recorded 7% of the country’s total box office for each title, even though 4DX auditoriums claim only 3.5% of the total number of theaters in Japan.
In comparison to other premium cinema formats including PLFs (Premium Large Format), 4DX was the highest in terms of revenue per seat taking in 0.7 million yen ($6,213 USD), with attendance per seat hitting 294 movie-goers. Attendance in 4DX theaters was 1.5x higher, and revenue per seat was 1.7x higher in 2015 than one of the largest PLFs.
Additionally, during a recent box office results presentation by Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren), chairman Mr. Yusuke Okada credited 4DX as one of the big contributors to making 2015 a high revenue year, which recorded over 210 billion yen (~$1.78 billion USD), showing growth of 4.9% from 2014. This is the second highest recorded Japanese box office result behind only the 220 billion yen ($1.89 Billion USE) recorded in 2010.
“We are proud to be part of the great year Japanese theatres had at the box office, as 4DX continues to expand both in Japan, as well as around the world,” said Byung-Hwan Choi, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX. “In addition to our geographic expansion in several countries, 4DX is also committed to providing different genres of content to its exhibition partners. This includes not only Hollywood blockbusters and local hits but also short films and alternative contents such as music concerts. We are investing much to develop diverse new 4D effects, and by extension, the next 4DX formats, to give more immersive experience to our audience as we pursue becoming the Global No.1 premium cinema brand.”
Success in Japan has consequently led to 4DX expanding to 33 theaters in the country through partnerships with 7 of the country’s major exhibitors. 4DX added 25 more screens in 2015 alone, continuing its hold on the title of fastest growing 4DX market. 4DX aims to reach more than 50 theaters in Japan this year.
As of February 2016, 4DX tallies 228 auditoriums with over 28,000 seats in 37 countries. Worldwide, CJ 4DPLEX aims to open 200 new 4DX theaters this year alone and expand to 800 4DX theaters by the end of 2017.