4DX vs RPX – Which movie theater experience is better?

Going to the cinema has long been a tried-and-true choice for first dates, family evenings, or going out with friends. However, today, cinemas are not only places where you can watch a movie (you can do the same by streaming it in your bedroom) but also where you experience a movie.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at two movie theater formats, 4DX vs RPX and see which of them will give you the better experience.

4DX vs RPX – Quick Comparison

Feature4DXRPX
Screen SizeStandard screen size40 by 60 feet
Audio QualityGood, but background noise (like fans for wind effects) can distract from itGood, but the sound system depends on the theater
Movie Theater ExperienceAmazing if you’re watching an action-packed movie, underwhelming for slower moviesGood enough
Seat ComfortYou might know if the seat would just stop moving for a minuteExcellent. The seats are extra comfy with nice padding, high backs and headrests, and they also recline
Availability700+ theaters in 65 countries100+ theaters in US alone
Cost$25 per ticket$18.50 to $21 per ticket

What is 4DX?

4DX is a 4D film format developed by CJ 4DPLEX (a subsidiary of South Korean cinema chain CJ CGV), which operates 678 theaters in 65 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, China, Europe, South Korea (made its commercial debut in Seoul’s CGV Sangam Theater in 2009), Mexico, India, etc.

The technology is licensed to over 80 theaters worldwide, including Regal Cinemas, Wanda Cinemas, Cineworld (filed for bankruptcy in September 2022), Cinepolis, Nu Metro, Village Cinemas, Event Cinemas and Kinepolis.

4DX’s number one selling point is that its seat comes with a few surprises. Namely, each seat will move or shake or vibrate according to the action in the movie, and it might also splash you with some water (there’s a button to turn that off if you don’t want to).

What is RPX?

RPX stands for “Regal Premium eXperience.” Yes, that’s a very 1990s/2000s thing, the way they use “X” to spell things like “eXtreme,” “eXperience,” or “eXtra,” but we’ll just have to accept it.

These are Regal Cinema’s premium large format theaters, clocking at 40 feet in height and 60 feet in width. That’s still not as big as IMAX’s 72 by 52 feet screens, but it’s certainly not bad.

By the way, we already compared RPX against IMAX, so you can take a look at all the differences in that post.

4DX vs RPX – Pros and Cons

Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of 4DX vs RPX.

4DX

4DX Cinema
4DX Cinema

Pros:

  • Almost all of your senses (not just sight and hearing, but touch and smell) will experience the movie
  • Good sound

Cons:

  • Try not to eat for at least an hour or two before going
  • Standard size screens

RPX

RPX Cinema
RPX Cinema

Pros:

  • Much more comfortable seats than in a regular cinema (recliners, speakers in the seats, etc.)
  • The screen is soft on your eyes and won’t cause you eye-strain

Cons:

  • The sound system depends on the theater (it can be 7.1 or 11.1), so it’s a hit-or-miss

4DX vs RPX – Features Face to Face

Screen Size

When it comes to screen size, 4DX uses standard screens like those you can find in most movie theaters. This is also probably its biggest downside, though the image quality itself is good.

On the other hand, RPX features slightly larger screens, which are usually 40 feet tall and 60 feet wide (depending on the cinema you’re in) and uses 4K projectors with 33000 lumens brightness.

Winner: RPX

Audio Quality

If you’re an audiophile, then 4DX is probably not for you.

Don’t get me wrong; the sound quality is okay, but there are so many distractions, like the fans blowing or the seats vibrating, that it kind of takes away from the sound itself.

RPX doesn’t excel at sound either, but for different reasons altogether.

Namely, you can never be sure what kind of sound system you will get as it depends on the theater you visit. 

Some have 7.1, some 11.1 — so there’s no rule here. And if you call the cinema to ask, you’ll probably get to talk to some squeaky-voiced teenager, and they’ll have no idea.

Winner: Draw

Movie Theater Experience

4DX Effects
4DX Effects

This is a tricky one as each individual’s experience is their own, so you might not agree with us on this one (let us know why in the comments below, by the way).

4DX is all about the experience. It’s more like going to a theme park than a cinema as there are no less than 21 effects, like seats that vibrate, shake, roll and heave, as well as environmental effects like wind, snow, lighting, smell and so on.

RPX, in comparison, is more of a “regular” movie experience with none of the bells and whistles that 4DX has.

Winner: 4DX

Seat Comfort

With 4DX, the emphasis is on the seat moving with the action on the big screen, so while they’re comfortable, you want to enjoy that as much as your seat is shaking, swaying or rocking.

RPX seats are made to enjoy sitting in during a movie. They have nice padding, are extra wide, have headrests, and high backs and some theaters also include extra speakers in them.

Winner: RPX

Availability

CJ 4DPLEX has a partnership with over 80 theaters worldwide, including Wanda Cinemas, Regal Cinemas and more, and they operate 755 4DX theaters in 65 countries.

In comparison, Regal has 104 RPX cinemas in the US alone, so it won’t be too hard to find one near you either.

Winner: 4DX

Ticket Price

Both 4DX and RPX cost a bit more than your average ticket.

4DX will cost you $25 per ticket, while RPX is a little cheaper, but not by much, as the price varies from $18.50 to $21.

Winner: RPX

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better IMAX RPX or 4DX?

When it comes to these three movie theaters, to each their own, we say. Each of these has something that puts it above the other two, so it depends on what you’re looking for.

IMAX, for example, has the biggest screens and probably the best video quality, while RPX has the most comfortable seats, and 4DX has its special effects, so it’s worth checking all three if you can.

Is a 4DX movie worth it?

The best part of a 4DX movie is the special effects that come with it. There are 21 special effects that you can feel while watching a movie in 4DX.

Not everyone will like their seat moving for 90+ minutes, though, and if you’re watching a slow-paced movie like a romantic drama, this defeats the purpose.

What does RPX movie mean?

RPX is an abbreviation for “Regal Premium Experience” and is a premium movie theater by Regal Cinema.

What are 4DX seats like?

4DX seats are equipped with heave (up and down), pitch (back and forth) and roll (left and right) movements to match the action on the screen, plus other effects like shaking, wind, bubbles and more.

Does 4DX need glasses?

It depends if you’re watching a 2D or 3D movie. If it’s a 2D one, you won’t need glasses, while for 3D, you do.

Conclusion

So, which is better? 4DX vs RPX?

Ultimately, the experience between these two is vastly different. 4DX is probably better for action-packed movies that you want to watch with buddies or with your kids, but I wouldn’t take someone on a date there unless you want them to have water sprayed in their face.

So, we’d say check them both if you can; just choose based on who you’re going with and the movie genre.

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About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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