According to Deadline, the two film behemoths recently inked a 15-movie deal that will span the next three years and see key titles projected in ScreenX’s proprietary wraparound format, which utilizes a theater’s walls to create a panoramic visual effect. Among the first couple of entrants in the series are Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home—two highly anticipated Marvel releases that seem like a strategy play designed to help shepherd movie lovers back into the theater post-pandemic.
For viewers, a ScreenX viewing experience makes it feel more like you’re situated directly in the middle of a movie’s action and less like you’re watching it play out in front of you. Incidentally, this will also mean that movies seen in the format are louder, bigger, and scarier, which is an important point to remember when you’re deciding to see a sequel to, say, Venom, a movie that critics notoriously called “aggressively loud and stupid.”
CJ4DPlex, which is part of Korea’s CJ Group, currently boasts a network of 355 ScreenX locations worldwide. The company’s CEO, Jongryul Kim, said that the deal with Sony is “... a strong signal of Sony Pictures’ and our commitment to the theatrical movie industry.”
“As audiences come back to movie theatres post-pandemic, CJ4DPlex is positioned better than ever with our super-premium immersive and dynamic theater formats that are distinctly different from the home experience and will motivate audiences to get out of their house and enjoy the theatrical experience once again with friends and family,” Kim said.
While streaming has proven itself to be a setback to traditional movie release models, premium format purveyors like ScreenX and IMAX have seen healthy grosses in recent months, even as theater attendance struggles to return to what it was pre-pandemic.
In an interview, Sony international distribution chief Steven O’Dell told Deadline that the company has seen positive results from previous partnerships with CJ 4DPlex. “We are looking forward to experiencing these films in the unique formats that continue to help drive audiences to movie theaters around the world,” he said.