BARCELONA – Vin Diesel's character leaped off a moving car, across a bridge, caught co-star Michelle Rodriguez's character in the air, and the pair landed on the windshield of another car -- and the audience was asked to go along for the ride -- during my latest 4D cinema demo, this week at CineEurope. D-Box Technologies was using this scene from recent release Fast & Furious 6 to demo its technology.
It you’re not familiar with the D-Box system, it creates motion effects that are sent to a motion generating system that can be integrated with the seats in a theater. The resulting motion is synchronized with onscreen content -- so you could think of it as a cross between a theater experience and a special venue ride.
Man of Steel is currently available at D-Box equipped theaters, and The Lone Ranger, Pacific Rim and Riddick are among the upcoming titles.
Launched in 2009, the D-Box system is now available in 207 theaters in 15 countries including the U.S. and Canada, Germany and Japan. It is also expanding into Latin America starting in Columbia and Peru.
The D-Box team works with the studios, sometimes directly with the filmmakers, on the creative decisions involved in producing the “motion design” for each film. The collaboration sometimes involves working with the director, editor or a producer, members of the D-Box team explained.
The business model for 4D cinema came up briefly during CineEurope. On one panel, Miguel Mier, COO of South America’s Cinepolis, reported that his chain already has 13 4D auditoriums in Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Guatemala. He reported the ticket price is double that of a regular theater, and the auditoriums are “performing well."