'Titanic 4DX': Foreign audiences to smell, feel ship's sinking

Los Angeles, United States. Los Angeles Times. April 4, 2012. (English). The salty scent of ocean air, the frigid winds of the North Atlantic, the jarring bump of a 46,000-ton ship hitting an iceberg —for international audiences who wish to add yet another dimension to the 3-D re-release of James Cameron’s “Titanic,” there is “Titanic 4DX.”A South Korean company called CJ 4DPlex Co. has created a theme park ride-like experience to accompany screenings of “Titanic 3D” in 26 theaters in South Korea, Mexico, China and Thailand starting Thursday.

4DX places theater audiences inside a film’s environment using motion, wind, fog, lighting and scent-based special effects. Launched in 2009, 4DX is also being applied to such recent movies as “The Hunger Games” and “John Carter” and the upcoming “The Avengers.” (It’s unclear what the sinking Titanic smells like, but we bet there will be liberal use of the “short bursts of sharp air” and “face water” features — not to mention the pitch and roll seats.)

Cameron and his studio partners spent 60 weeks and $18 million to make a 3-D version of “Titanic,” the 1997 blockbuster about a young couple, Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet), who fall in love aboard the doomed luxury liner. Screenings of “Titanic 3D” in the U.S., where it opened Tuesday night, will not include 4DX’s extrasensory enhancements.

But CJ 4DPlex has opened an office in Hollywood and plans to expand to U.S. theaters, ultimately reaching more than 800 auditoriums worldwide by 2016, according to a news release issued by the company.

“We work with the world’s leading studios and filmmakers to bring movie magic alive for audiences,” CJ 4DPlex Chief Executive Ho Seung Lee said in the release. “Presenting ‘Titanic,’ one of the greatest films ever made, in 4DX is a great honor, and we are excited to usher audiences onboard to meet Jack and Rose.”

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