It is often said that justice is blind. That may be so, but at two theaters in New York City, audiences for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be able to make use of their other senses to enjoy the movie as well. In addition to the standard theater experience, moviegoers will have additional options for viewing the superhero throwdown, such as IMAX, RPX, and even one for unlimited viewing. The most unique experience being offered, though, is at two theaters in NYC with new 4DX-enabled screens.
According to The Verge (via Latino Review), those Regal Cinemas locations will offer an immersive experience that goes beyond that already offered by the many theaters with D-BOX seats. The 4DX technology offers such additions as “motion-activated seats, wind, fog, rain, lightning, vibration, snow, and scents.” With as much rain as has been in the previews for Batman V Superman, that could mean that 4DX audiences end up very wet indeed by the end of the 151 minute-long film.
Bringing an immersive experience to theaters is nothing new. Back in 1959, showings of the original House on Haunted Hill included a plastic skeleton that flew over audiences. Theme parks have also made use of similar gimmicks with attractions like Honey, I Shrunk the Audience and the hybrid movie/ride experience of Star Tours. Those movies are made specifically with those gimmicks in mind, though, whereas it does not seem likely that Zack Snyder was thinking about dousing the audience in water when the Man of Steel and Dark Knight clash in a rainstorm.
Of course, the rain scenario is just one possibility as far as what effects the theaters might use to accompany the film. It will probably be used primarily for more subtle effects, like making the audience feel the rumble of the Batmobile as it roars across the screen or violent shakes as the two titular adversaries trade blows. It is less likely that audiences will, for instance, be smelling Bruce Wayne’s cologne as he mingles with Gotham City’s elite or wiping grains of sand out of their eyes as Superman touches down in the desert.
No details have been given as far as how much extra hard-earned cash audiences will need to fork over for the 4DX upgrade, but no doubt it will not be cheap. Whether or not it is worth the price of admission depends on if it truly does provide an immersive experience or if it only detracts from the movie with theme park-level gimmickry.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016;Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 16th, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14th, 2019; Cyborgon April 3rd, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19th, 2020.