No, 4D is not a joke, although it certainly sounds like something out of a Mel Brooks comedy…4D is a theater system where scents are piped into the theater, giving the movie an added dimension of smell. This has been going on in overseas theaters for years now, and now TGDaily tells us that Iron Man 3 will have a 4D release in Japan.
According to a Fandango poll, Iron Man 3 is the most anticipated movie of the summer, and it’s sure to start off the blockbuster season off with a bang. It’s also going to be the first film released in Japan to have the option of 4D technology, which have already been operating in China, Israel, Mexico, and Brazil. 4D theaters will also be reportedly opening in Taiwan, Russia, and other areas in Eastern Europe.
Currently there’s no word on what scents will be used in Iron Man 3 when it plays in Japan, but at the moment it’s too costly to revamp theaters in the States for 4D, especially when a blockbuster plays in thousands of theaters opening day. It’s one thing rebuilding a theater for THX, 3D, or the latest new sound innovation, Dolby Atmos, but redoing thousands of theaters to spray scents into the air?
Not to mention 4D doesn’t just make the movie smell better or worse. In many 4D theaters the seats move, and also spew wind, smoke, strobe lights, and water in your face. A less costly version of 4D was tried here in the States with the fourth Spy Kids movie several years ago, and this was done with scratch and sniff cards, but the technology, along with the movie, just didn’t catch on. (Perhaps director Robert Rodriguez shouldn’t have made one of the scents a soiled diaper.)
So while we can’t experience Iron Man 3 in 4D here yet, when you check it out on May 3, just try to imagine what it would be like to see the film with your seat shaking, water spraying in your face, and scents filling the air that coincide with what’s happening on the screen. The company that manufactures all this technology, CJ 4DPlex, is slowly making its way through theaters overseas, and maybe someday they’ll one day make their way over here too.