CJ 4DPLEX, an immersive theater technology featuring moving seats and environmental effects, has been expanding its business rapidly in Japan. With six of its 17 total sites opened in this month alone, Japan is now the fastest-growing 4DX market in the world.
The six new 4DX auditoriums include three new openings with existing partner United Cinemas, which added screens in Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido, as well as Maebashi and Kasukabe, in the suburbs of Tokyo. Another existing partner, Cinema Sunshine, added a new site in Masaki while new partners, 109 Cinemas and Sanyo, each launched their first 4DX screens in Tomiya and Himeji, respectively. Overall, 4DX is planning to reach 25 total sites in Japan by the end of this year.
4DX has a passionate following in Japan, which can be seen by recent strong showings. For example, Avengers: Age of Ultron andMad Max: Fury Road generated an occupancy rate in 4DX that was five times higher than non-4DX, and Furious 7 recorded a more than 91% average occupancy rate as part of the film’s fantastic international opening weekend.
“Not only are audiences filling theatres at record rates to see the latest blockbuster films in 4DX, their positive reactions range from standing ovations in the auditorium to thrilling reactions on social media,” said Byung Hwan Choi, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX. “Following a marketing promotion earlier this month, Avengers: Age of Ultron received such positive responses on Twitter and Facebook as ‘It’s pretty impressive! A thousand words won’t be enough to describe the experience that I just had,’ and praise of how the fight scene between the Hulk and Iron Man impacted all five senses. Before the 4DX debut of Pacific Rim last year, Japanese fans held a pre-release party dressed as characters in the film. We are looking forward to seeing more examples of this connection between films and fans, caused by 4DX, as expansion continues throughout Japan.”
Upcoming August premieres in 4DX in Japan include the highly anticipated blockbuster sequels Jurassic World, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and the live action re-boot of the animated Attack on Titan. (In 2013, the original Attack on Titan drew an average occupancy rate six times that of regular screenings.)