MX4D or 4DX – Comparison and Review
by Veronica Nunez
**Spoiler Warning: this review is based on viewings of Avengers : Endgame and contains spoilers**
I saw the first shows of the morning for each showing, and both where in 3D.
I saw Avengers : Endgame in in Digital 3D in the MX4D theater at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood at an 8am show time. This was my second experience seeing a film in MX4D the first was for Captain Marvel. I noticed that the wind bursts appear to come from the armrest, near the cup holders. It may also spray a bit of water, but if it did it was so minimal that I don’t recall it happening. There was limited scents, but I noticed the metallic, burning metal smell more than any other scent (it was almost unbearable during Captain Marvel). A nice touch is the rain effect. In the scene where Hawkeye/Ronin is in Tokyo and it’s raining at the end of the sequence. The rain effect is enough that I and a few others covered our popcorn, but not enough to soak you. It doesn’t rain on you during the entire scene out in the rain or you would get soaking wet. The motion for MX4D is mostly “punches” and vibrations of the seats with something to smack your legs for the instances when a character is having their legs swept during a fight sequence.
Something to note is the onscreen warning about the motion effects of MX4D and the 40” minimum height requirement. Also, there are wheelchair spaces with companion seats, but there are no seats with lap belts which the 4DX at the Regal LA Live does have for those who need it (at least they had a few seats with lap belts in December 2016—I didn’t verify these seats this time.)
At the time of my initial review of 4DX there was only one theater in Los Angeles or Orange County to have 4DX which is at the Regal Cinemas at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles. There is now a 4DX theater at the CGV Cinemas in Buena Park, which I’m hoping to check out in the next few months as it is a bit cheaper than the Regal 4DX. We’ll talk about pricing later.
I saw Avengers : Endgame in 4DX at the first showing on a Tuesday at the Regal Cinemas at LA Live. 4DX has sets of 4 seats which are connected together. The seats for 4DX actually move tilting up and down and tilting a bit to the right and left. For example, when the camera swings up during the funeral scene the seats gently swing up along with the camera’s movement. There is a control on the right arm rest to turn off the water effect for your seat. The water effect sprays from the back of the seat in front of you (I don’t know how the effect works for the seats in the front row.) The spray was pretty intense which required me to wipe the water off of my 3D glasses almost every time. It has the same “punching” and leg motion effect as MX4D. Wind effects come from large fans mounted along the right and left sides of the theater. These can be very loud if the scene of the movie you’re watching is quiet. There isn’t a rain effect for the 4DX, and they don’t have a warning image displayed on the screen, but they do show a sort of trailer with full effects before the regular trailers for upcoming movie releases finish. This gives you time to get out if you find you can’t handle it. There is more strobing in the 4DX than I noticed in MX4D leading me to believe that MX4D doesn’t have any. There is minimal scent in 4DX, and I only noticed it when we see Tony Stark at his cabin by the lake. I could hear something being blown/sprayed, but it was a minute or two before I could smell the pine scent. The motion during the last half of the movie was intense. Beginning with Thanos’ attack on the Avengers facility all of the way through to Iron Man winning the battle the seats were moving with the action. In most theaters you feel a rumble in the seats because the sound is too loud, but in 4DX the seats vibrate without blowing out your eardrums.
For pricing, TCL Chinese Theatres has a set pricing of $29 for MX4D in Digital 3D with no senior or child pricing available for any show time. Regal LA Live has 4DX in RealD 3D for $25 (child) up to $29.50 (adult) for afternoon and evening show times. Morning / matinee shows are slightly less. I went on a Tuesday morning. Tuesdays at Regal are $9 for any show if you have their rewards card, which I do. There is a surcharge for premium formats so I paid $17 versus the $25 it would have been without the Regal Rewards card to see Avengers : Endgame in 4DX in 3D.
The CGV Cinemas in Buena park has 4DX tickets in RealD 3D for Avengers : Endgame starting at $21.75 for morning shows up to $26.75 for evening shows and no senior or child pricing available for any show time. I really want to check it out soon since it’s about the same distance from my home as Regal at LA Live is, and I won’t have to deal with downtown LA traffic or parking prices.
4DX packs more of a punch, though I find the fans annoyingly loud and distracting. The 4DX feels more like a ride than a theater, which I really enjoy. The TCL Chinese Theater has better picture quality for all of their screens (especially their Imax which I HIGHLY recommend) the MX4D experience doesn’t match the high ticket price.*
*If you include the parking fees for seeing the movie at Regal LA Live in 4DX versus at the TCL Chinese Theatre in MX4D, they are about equal depending on where you park for LA Live.
Have you tried 4DX or MX4D or any other immersive/premium movie experience? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.