4DX was launched by South Korean theater chain, CJ CGV with the release of New Line Cinema's Journey to the Center of the Earth in Seoul in 2009. In 2010, after the technology's success with the 4DX screening of Avatar, CGV has expanded more theaters throughout South Korea. The company later opened its first 4DX theater in China on 14 April 2012 with the release of Titanic 3D and Vietnam on 21 January 2014, with the release of I, Frankenstein, as part of the completion of the merger with Megastar Cinemas.
On 2 June 2011, Mexican cineplex company, Cinépolis, have invested $25 million and partnered with CJ Group to open up to 11 4DX rooms. The first 4DX room opened at the Plaza Acoxpa mall in Mexico City with the release of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, as the first 4DX theater in North America and the Western Hemisphere. The company has later expanded more theaters throughout South American theaters with the releases of Prometheus and Ice Age: Continental Drift on 1 July 2012 in Brazil, DreamWorks Animation's Rise of the Guardians on 12 December 2012 in Peru, and Despicable Me 2 on 5 July 2013 in Colombia. The company opened its first room in Guatemala on 17 December 2013, with the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, as the first 4DX theater in Central America. The company opened its first 4DX theater in India in 2014. In Costa Rica, the company is set to open its first 4DX theater on 14 September 2014 with the release of The Maze Runner.
In 2012, CNN Travel named the CGV Gangbyeon 4DX theater as one of the world's best movie theatres.
The Paramount Pictures film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, has opened new 4DX rooms at Major Cineplex on 19 June 2011 in Thailand and Cinema Park on 22 December 2012 in Russia.
Cinema City has opened its first 4DX room in Israel on 19 July 2012 at the Yes Planet Rishon Lezion theater, with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man. The company later opened new 4DX theaters throughout Europe. Hungary on 21 March 2013 with the release of The Croods, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic on 22 May 2013 and 23 May 2013, respectively, both opened with the release of Fast & Furious 6, in Poland on 22 November 2013, with the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Romania, in mid May 2015 - Bucharest with the release of Mad Max: Fury Road(another two cinemas are under development in Constanța and Timișoara). On 26 April 2013, Japanese cineplex chain, Korona World, opened its first room in Nagoya, with the release of Iron Man 3.
On 6 May 2013, CGV released a new 4DX trailer, starring Lee Byung-hun.
On 12 June 2013, Taiwanese cineplex chain, Vieshow Cinemas, has opened its first room with the release of Man of Steel.
On 19 July 2013, Cine Hoyts opened its first 4DX room in La Reina, Chile, with the release of Turbo.
As of August 2013, the 4DX technology has achieved over 10,000 seats in 16 countries and 58 cities.
On 23 August 2013, Indonesia's Blitzmegaplex opened its first 4DX theater with the release of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
Venezuela's Cinex opened its first room on 21 December 2013 with the release of Frozen.
On 28 September 2013, UME International Cineplex opened a new 4DX theater in Chongqing, with the release of Jurassic Park 3D.
On 12 December 2013, Croatian cinema chain, Blitz-CineStar, opened its first 4DX room with the releases of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Frozen.
Ukrainian theater chain, Planeta Kino, opened its first 4DX room with the premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on 18 December 2013, using the new "slim" black seats.
VOX Cinemas has opened their first 4DX theater in the United Arab Emirates on 22 December 2013.
On 24 March 2014, CJ 4DPlex has signed a deal with AEG to bring the technology to the United States, as the country's first 4DX theater. It opened at the Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14 theater in Los Angeles, operated by the Regal Entertainment Group, on 26 June 2014 with Transformers: Age of Extinction. "Los Angeles was the natural choice for us in making it the first U.S. location to carry 4DX," said Byung Hwan Choi, CEO of CJ 4DPlex "We wanted to bring this experience to where all the movie magic happens. With AEG, owner and host of the world's most exciting entertainment venues as our strategic partner, we are very much looking forward to welcoming our audiences to a moviegoing experience never before seen in the U.S." It was screened with Marvel Studios' Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and later premiered with Paramount's Transformers: Age of Extinction. On its opening day, all of the 4DX showings were sold out.
On 30 April 2014, Ayala Malls Cinema opened the first 4DX room in the Philippines with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
On 2 September 2014, Variety reported about the technology's success in the United States and that it is currently in talks with other theater chains, although deals have not yet been made.
On 20 November 2014, Mexico based international movie exhibition chain Cinepolis launched India's first 4DX technology enabled screen at Thane in Maharashtra.
On 30 January 2015 Cineworld launched the United Kingdom's first 4DX theater on at its Milton Keynes site, with the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service. Then on October 22 that year, they made their Sheffield cinema the second British 4DX cinema, with a third at Crawley on November 18, fourth based at Stevenage recently opening on April 29th 2016. and fifth at Birmingham Broad street opening for Dr Strange on 26/10/2016.
On November 4 2016, Canada's first 4DX theater opening in Toronto with Doctor Strange.
In 2016, films shown on cinema screens with 4DX technology cumulatively reached 15 million viewers.
A theater can be built or retrofitted with special equipment to support 4DX features including seats which move in three dimensions and vibrate; leg and back ticklers; wind, water, fog, bubbles, rain and snow in the air; and storm lighting and sound effects.
For a motion picture to make use of the 4DX features available in a theater, a 4DX "track" needs to be programmed on top of the existing video and audio tracks. In other words, a 4DX movie is a standard movie with the addition of a 4DX track that controls the 4DX features during playback. The programming of the track is done by CJ 4DPlex, the CJ CGV subsidiary who developed the technology, in some cases with the participation of the studio that originally produced the original movie. Programming a 4DX track into a movie typically takes less than a month.
As of July 2016, the 4DX technology is currently active in 40 countries: Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, South Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Vietnam.
As of July 2016, CJ 4DPlex have partnered with these following cinema chains:CJ CGV (South Korea / China / Vietnam / Indonesia (as CGV blitz, to be rebranded as CGV in 2016))
Cinépolis (India / Guatemala / Costa Rica / Brazil / Colombia / Panama / Peru / Mexico)
PVR Cinemas (India)
Wanda Cinemas (China)
Major Cineplex (Thailand/Cambodia)
Cinema Park (Russia)
Yes Planet (Israel)
Korona World (Japan)
Cinema City (Hungary / Czech Republic / Poland / Bulgaria / Romania)
Vieshow Cinemas (Taiwan)
Cine Hoyts (Chile)
UME International Cineplex (China)
Wushang Mall International Cinema (China)
BAIYU Cinema (China)
Planeta Kino (Ukraine)
VOX Cinemas (United Arab Emirates / Oman / Lebanon)
AEG / Regal Entertainment Group (United States)
Ayala Malls Cinemas (Philippines)
Cinema Sunshine (Japan)
Cineworld (United Kingdom)
Cinema City (Hong Kong)
Orange Sky Golden Harvest Cinemas (Hong Kong)
Arena Cinemas (Switzerland)
Nu Metro Cinemas (South Africa)
Caribbean Cinemas (Puerto Rico)
Cinemas NOS (Portugal)
Cineplex Entertainment (Canada)
CineStar - Blitz film & video distribution D.O.O. Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Serbia