4DX vs ScreenX: What is the Difference?

Updated on: December 20, 2023

Ever wondered what makes a movie night truly unforgettable? Is it the gripping story, the company of friends, or something more? In the world of cinema, two formats stand out for their ability to turn a simple movie night into an extraordinary experience: 4DX and ScreenX. But the big question is, which one should you choose for your next outing?

In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll take a closer look at both 4DX and ScreenX. We’ll explore what each format offers, from their immersive features to the cost and where you can find them. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to decide whether you’re up for the dynamic thrills of 4DX or the expansive visuals of ScreenX. So, are you ready to make your next movie experience something truly special? Let’s start this journey and find out!

Quick Answer: 4DX offers an immersive experience with sensory effects like wind, rain, and synchronized seat movement. ScreenX provides a panoramic 270-degree projection, expanding the movie screen to theater walls. While 4DX enhances immersion with physical sensations, ScreenX focuses on a broader visual experience. Choose based on personal preference.


What is 4DX Cinema?

Imagine yourself in a movie theater where the action isn’t just on the screen – it’s all around you. This is what 4DX Cinema, developed by CJ 4DPLEX in Korea in 2009, brings to your movie-watching experience. It’s a technology that doesn’t just let you watch a movie; it lets you feel it in every way possible.

Let’s say you’re watching a scene with a high-speed bus chase. In a regular cinema, you’d just see the action. But in a 4DX theater, as the bus takes sharp turns, your seat moves along, mimicking the motion, so you feel like you’re right there in the middle of the chase.

And that’s just the beginning. 4DX enhances your viewing with extra special effects like rain, scents, fog, smoke, and wind, created by special equipment around the theater. So, when it rains in the movie, you might feel a gentle spray. It’s all about bringing the movie out of the screen and into the theater, surrounding you completely.

What is ScreenX?

Now, let’s talk about ScreenX!

If you want to watch the movie on a bigger screen, which surrounds you from every angle, ScreenX cinema is the one for you.

Developed by the same company as 4DX, this cinema format expands the movie screen from a traditional central position to the side walls of the theater room, creating a panoramic viewing experience. 

This 270-degree projection is achieved by strategically placing additional projectors in the theater to project images onto the side walls. These projections are perfectly synchronized with the central screen to create a wider field of view, making you feel in the middle of the movie.

ScreenX vs 4DX Comparision Table

Developed ByCJ 4DPLEX (2009)CJ 4DPLEX
Viewing ExperienceImmersive with sensory movementsPanoramic 270-degree projection
Special EffectsWind, water, fog, fragrance, etc.Extended screen projections
Synchronized Seat MovementYes (in sync with movie scenes)No
Sound SystemSurround soundSurround sound
ComfortComfortable seating with movementsStationary seating with panoramic view
Movie CompatibilitySupports a wider range of moviesRequires specially formatted films
Availability700 cinemas globally316 theaters globally
Price$24.00 to $30around $30
DrawbacksCan be overwhelming, best for action/thrill genresLimited availability, can be distracting

Which One’s better: ScreenX or 4DX

Now that you know the two movie formats, you might want to know which is better for your movie night out. Let’s compare the features of the two movie formats to see which stands out.

Screen and Display Size:

4DX Cinemas features larger screens, similar to what you’ll see in typical cinemas. The screen size is settled to provide an immersive experience to complement the environmental and physical effects. I watched Avatar Way of Water in 4DX format; in my experience, 4DX has the clearest screen and visuals.

4DX Screen

In comparison, ScreenX has a Godzilla-sized screen much bigger than 4DX Cinemas. It surrounds and engulfs you from every side because of the extended screen projection on the side walls of the theater room. However, in my experience, it’s hard to watch a movie on this screen setting. Human vision covers about 120 degrees of projection, so even though the huge panoramic screen is a great deal, it makes the movie-watching experience more difficult. I watched Avatar Way of Water in ScreenX format and observed that in some movie scenes, the picture on the side screens seemed to be stretched just to fill up the space, deteriorating the quality.

ScreenX Screen

Thus, in my view, 4DX offers superior video quality and screen experience.

Special Effects:

Every cinema lets you watch movies, but 4DX Cinemas go a step further. They bring movies to life with special effects like wind, water, fog, rain, and even scents. Imagine feeling the rain from a movie scene on your skin – that’s what 4DX offers. Watching ‘Avatar Way of Water’ in 4DX, I felt every splash and whiff of the forest, making the experience incredibly real. While the fog effect is more subtle, the overall impact is stunning. It’s a level of immersion you don’t get in regular cinemas.

In contrast, ScreenX focuses on visual immersion. It doesn’t have the sensory effects of 4DX but expands the movie across a 270-degree screen. It’s a different kind of immersive experience, primarily visual. Between the two, 4DX stands out for its ability to engage more of your senses.

Synchronized Seat Movement:

4DX Cinemas offer a unique feature that really puts you in the movie. Imagine you’re watching a scene where characters are on a train. In 4DX, your seat will actually move and shake, mimicking the train’s motion. It’s as if you’re right there on that train.

These synchronized seat movements in 4DX create a deeply immersive experience. When I watched ‘Avatar Way of Water’ in 4DX, it felt like a whole new level of movie-watching. But a word of caution: it can cause motion sickness for some.

On the other hand, ScreenX doesn’t have these moving seats. Watching the same movie in ScreenX, the experience felt similar to regular cinemas, just with a wider screen. So, for a truly immersive experience, 4DX is the clear winner.

Sound System:

Sound plays a crucial role in making your movie-watching time worthwhile, so you must consider and check the sound system offered by both cinema formats to make your choice.

4DX Cinema offers an immersive sound experience by using a 7.1 and 9.1 surround sound system, which creates an audio effect as if the sound is hitting you from every direction of the theater room. In my experience, the audio was perfectly synchronized during the whole movie and seemed to engulf me from every side of the cinema.

The ScreenX Cinema format also offers a surround sound system that creates an immersive watch time experience. The sound system used in a ScreenX theater can vary depending on the specific theater’s configuration and setup.

So, in this round, both cinema formats stand shoulder to shoulder!


Comfort in a movie theater is key, and 4DX Cinemas understand this. They offer seats that are both comfortable and stylish, with a neat feature allowing you to rest your feet. The seats are raised a bit, ensuring you get a clear view of the screen. But remember, the dynamic movement of these seats, while exciting, might not suit everyone, as it can cause discomfort or even nausea for some.

ScreenX, on the other hand, prioritizes comfort in a different way. Their theaters have 300 seats divided into categories like Executive, Premiere, and Silver. The Silver seats are the farthest from the screen, which might lessen the immersive experience a bit. The good part? These seats don’t move, so you won’t have to worry about motion sickness while enjoying your movie.

Movie Compatibility:

Which cinema format has more movie options available?
ScreenX relies on specially formatted movies; not all movies can play in extended screen projection. The movies need to be shot or pre-processed to be in ScreenX format, so not many movies are available in this cinema format.
4DX, on the other hand, offers a wide range of movies compatible with it because it doesn’t require any special technology to film these movies or process them before display. So, it offers various movies, including 2D and 3D films for cinephiles.


You can’t enjoy a cinema format if it’s not available anywhere close to you, can you?
So, you might want to know the availability of each Cinema format beforehand!

4DX Cinemas was incepted and brought into the market in 2009 and had around 700 cinemas around the globe in about 65 countries. On the other hand, ScreenX is a relatively new Cinema format with only 316 theaters in 34 countries around the globe.


ScreenX and 4DX are high-end cinema formats, so their tickets are generally more expensive than traditional cinemas. In the USA, specifically at Regal Cinemas, the ticket price for RealD 3D 4DX Movies ranges from $24.00 to $30.00 for adults. For ScreenX movies, the price tends to be around $30. These prices can vary based on location, time of day, and any ongoing promotions or discounts.

Drawbacks of 4DX and ScreenX

4DX vs ScreenX Drawbacks

4DX Cons

  1. The sensory movements and effects can be overwhelming for some and may cause nausea.
  2. Quite expensive compared to regular cinemas.
  3. It is best suited for action and thrill genres; slow-paced movies may be more enjoyable in a regular cinema.

ScreenX Cons

  1. Limited availability across the globe.
  2. A limited list of movies is available as not all movies are filmed in ScreenX format.
  3. It can sometimes divert as the viewer might focus more on the extended side screens than the main screen.
  4. It’s very costly, just like 4DX. 

User Experiences with 4DX and ScreenX

When it comes to choosing between 4DX and ScreenX, moviegoers have varied opinions based on their personal experiences. Here’s what some of them had to say:

4DX Experiences:

  • A user mentioned their experience with 4DX, stating that while the “floating feeling” was unique, certain scenes felt a bit too intense, making them feel almost airborne. They also commented on the 3D aspect, mentioning it felt like a bit “forced focus” for their liking. While they found the experience fun, they wouldn’t opt for it again.
  • Another individual shared their experience with 4DX, particularly noting that the final battle scene had excessive water splashing.
  • An individual described 4DX as similar to 4D experiences at theme parks, complete with moving seats, water sprays, and other practical effects. They mentioned that while it’s immersive, it might not be for everyone.

ScreenX Experiences:

  • A user was curious about how much of the movie “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One” would utilize the three screens of ScreenX. Another responded that they felt “ScreenX all the way.”
  • Another individual shared their experience with ScreenX, listing both pros and cons. They felt like they were inside an aquarium and appreciated that the gimmick was used appropriately throughout the movie. However, they also noted that the center screen was cropped, and some shots looked weird especially the overhead ones.
  • An individual described ScreenX as ultra-wide, almost 180° around the viewer. They mentioned that it covers the peripheral vision and is color-matched to scenes on the screen.

General Observations:

  • One individual provided a comprehensive comparison, noting that IMAX offers the highest resolution and is the director’s intended viewing format. 4DX offers practical effects to match the on-screen action, while ScreenX provides an ultra-wide viewing experience. Dolby Digital focuses on high-quality sound, and RPX (Regal Premium Experience) offers excellent picture and sound quality with comfortable leather seats.

Which One’s Better: 4DX Vs ScreenX

The choice of cinema format may vary depending on personal preferences. If you prefer a huge screen that surrounds you from each side of the theater with an immersive sound experience, ScreenX is the best for you. However, if you want to have a surreal movie time where you can feel right in the middle of the action, you need to choose 4DX.

In general, 4DX is a better choice for a movie night out because it has a good screen size, surround sound system, synchronized seat movement with the movie, and special effects like fog, mist, fragrance, and bubbles for a surreal experience. It also offers an extended movie variety to choose from and has more cinemas available across the globe.

If you’re comfortable with the motion effects of 4DX cinema chairs and seek a surreal movie experience, 4DX is a sure bet.

Curious about how 4DX stacks up against IMAX? Don’t miss out! Dive into our detailed comparison and discover which offers the superior cinema experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any age restrictions for ScreenX and 4DX?

Yes, both cinema formats have age restrictions because of the intensity of audio, video, and sensory effects. Younger children or people with certain medical conditions may not be suitable for these experiences.

Do I need to make reservations before ScreenX and 4DX movie showings?

Making reservations ahead of time is a good idea, especially for peak hours or days when getting tickets could be a little difficult. 

Are ScreenX and 4DX suitable for all types of audiences?

ScreenX focuses on the panoramic screen, which creates a visually immersive experience. On the other hand, 4DX creates a multisensory immersive experience with amazing audio and video quality. However, the intensity of the 4DX environmental and motion effects may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with motion sickness.

I’m Shaun Conroy, an audiophile & founder of HiFi Audios. Holding a Bachelor’s in Sound Engineering, I bring deep expertise in audio devices and offer insights & recommendations to fellow enthusiasts.

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