Black Panther will officially be Marvel Studios' first film to be released in the 270-degree ScreenX format. Already hailed to be one of Marvel's best comic adaptation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, audiences all over the world will now be able to experience Black Panther in a panoramic format that far exceeds both standard and IMAX widths.
Kickstarting the move to enhance the viewing experience for future releases, Walt Disney Studios collaborated with CJ 4DPLEX in order to convert Black Panther into ScreenX. Projected on three connected screens, ScreenX screens don't just create a wider format, but a format that literally wraps around the audience. What's more is that audiences will also have the option of viewing the film in the innovative company's 4DX format as well. Creating a more immersive viewing experience, 4DX incorporates environmental effects and motion seats that complement various moments throughout the film. With a solid 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and massive box-office expectations, it's no wonder Disney went all-in on turning Black Panther into a cinematic event.
Related: Black Panther Character Guide
Regarding the studio's decision to elevate the Black Panther viewing experience, Walt Disney Studios President of Theatrical Distribution Dave Hollis explained that "the immersive world of Wakanda is perfect for the panoramic ScreenX format." Executive Vice President of ScreenX Division, CGV, James Kang added:
“Each time Disney teams with us to convert one of their films into ScreenX or 4DX, we see a magnificent reaction at the movie theatre. As the first Marvel film in ScreenX, ‘Black Panther’ promises to elicit an amazing reaction from fans by immersing them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe at a new and thrilling level."
While ScreenX technology is no doubt exciting, there is always the risk of new viewing experiences being interpreted as gimmicks. Between ScreenX's 270-degree format and 4Dx's moving seats, water-spraying, and fog effects, they seem more aligned with theme park rides than cinemas. Also, the conversion process runs the risk of cheapening the proper ScreenX experience. In order to fully capitalize on the experience, filmmakers would have to literally shoot a film with three cameras simultaneously, which may not be economically sound for most major studios at this point in time. Film converted to 3D suffered a similar fate post-Avatar, leading to universal criticism.
Then again, maybe these new formats will seem exciting and innovative enough to overshadow any negative aspects. In the era of streaming services attempting to replace the theater-going experience entirely, this sort of technology may well be what lures audiences back into multiplexes after all.
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