I’ve never been a fan of 3-D because I wear glasses and putting glasses on top of glasses isn’t the most comfortable of situations. However, in South Korea, the more Ds the better, apparently—and no, we’re not talking about bra size. South Korean company CJ 4DPlex already has 13 4-D movie screens in South Korea and has recently expanded into China, Mexico and Thailand. The next stop is, of course, Hollywood; by the end of August, the company will have opened its first 4-D programming lab in Los Angeles, hoping to entice Hollywood studios to this new type of entertainment. The fourth dimension can include shaking seats, vapor mist or wind shooters and even scent devices that are cued to release certain scents at certain times.
Officially, no director or studio has yet to come forward endorsing this whole 4-D thing. However, if I have to be honest, when I think of 4D, I think of theme park attractions like Universal Studios’ Shrek 4-D or Disney World’s Muppet Vision 3-D, not of movie theater films. One news site said 4-D movie tickets cost around $16 in other countries, but who knows if that cost would be greater in the U.S. Even now, I cringe at having to pay $11 at the movie theater, so I can’t imagine how amazing a movie would have to be to make me pay more.
CJ 4DPlex first tested 4-D movie screens in Korea with “Avatar,” and more recently, in Thailand with “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” With certain big blockbuster action films, this type of technology may work, but I can’t imagine a 4-D romantic comedy being much of a hit. So even if this does become the new frontier of movie screenings, my guess is that it will never be more than a subset of mainstream entertainment.