4DX may prove to be the latest profitable theater gimmick

When James Cameron's AVATAR brought 3D back in a big, bad way, theaters took this as a sign to introduce even more to give audiences a novelty that was "not their grandfather's theater experience." You may have seen more wine & dine theaters and the introduction of D-Box, which is your equivalent of a ride simulator. Anyone wanna sit through TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION with your ass rumbling for three hours? According to one study, that answer is a resounding "yes." Enter 4DX. You may have already heard about this latest craze, but 4DX is the latest in theater gimmickry that combines the D-Box experience with Smell-O-Vision, smoke, strobes and bubbles. So far the Regal Cinemas LA Live in Los Angeles is the only theater in America that provides this experience, but the attendance is predominantly higher than that of your average theater. Even for low performers like THE EXPENDABLES 3, weekly attendance was more than 200% over regular screens.

Here's a promo video:

I really shouldn't get upset over something as stupid as that demonstration video, but everything shown is the absolute antithesis of the movie-going experience. A film should be able to pull you in on its own merits in an environment that doesn't distract and remind the viewer that they're in a movie theater. While it's arguable that 3D does this, or that 4DX is even an extension of that, blowing bubbles in my f*cking face is not going to create a better film. Theaters are looking for ways to raise prices by literally throwing water in your face. Would the 4DX experience really help those movies that weren't able to pass the $250 million mark? I somehow doubt that when the novelty wears thin. Don't get me wrong! I like rides as much as the next person, but theaters can keep their D-Box and their Faux-max and just concentrate on delivering a great theater experience, not a gimmick. Thanks.

Source: Variety

About the Author