“Avatar: The Way of Water” is the sequel after 13 years of waiting, with more exquisite visuals than the first installment. It has 8 different versions, and it claimed the box office champion in Taipei with an astonishing momentum. Some say it not only saved the sluggish movie box office during the pandemic, but also revitalized everyone’s confidence in 3D movies. With so many versions of the movie, which one should you watch?
This time, “Avatar: The Way of Water” released a total of 8 versions: IMAX HFR 3D, Dolby Cinema HFR 3D, 4DX, MX4D, D-BOX 3D, HFR 3D, regular 3D, and 2D. It made me very curious about the different versions of the movie, and I wanted to know what the differences were. So, I did some research and summarized it.
In the past, we only needed to know which movie to watch when going to the cinema. However, nowadays people have much higher demands for sound and visual effects, so choosing the cinema and movie version has become a major consideration for most people when watching a movie.
Digital 2D Movies
This is the most widely available version and is typically chosen when there are no special requirements. In the past, movies were played using film reels, but now most have been converted to digital signals. Digital 2D movies are typically shot using 2D cameras.
Digital 3D Movies
Compared to digital 2D movies, digital 3D movies require 3D glasses to assist with viewing. By using different filters for the left and right eyes, a 3D effect is achieved. Currently, many movies are not shot using 3D cameras, but instead, the 3D effect is achieved through post-production processing. However, such movies are usually suitable for animation, where they don’t look too abrupt. For example, movies such as “Dune” and “No Time to Die” have been reported to cause discomfort due to being converted from 2D to 3D.
HFR 3D Movies
Usually, movies are run at a speed of 24 frames per second, which appears smooth and natural to the human eye. HFR stands for High Frame Rate, which means that the frame rate is increased to over double the original 24 frames, resulting in a sharper, clearer, and faster-looking picture. For example, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” and “Gemini Man,” directed by Ang Lee, were shot at a high frame rate of up to 120fps and were specifically designed for large-screen 3D movies.
You can feel the difference by watching the video recommended byMonocle莫尼格學長有點懂in the following section.
Currently, most medium to large-sized cinemas offer the HFR 3D version.
Movie theaters in Taiwan that offer HFR 3D versions:
|MUVIE CINEMAS松仁威秀||HFR 3D||台北市信義區松仁路58號10樓（遠百信義A13）|
|林口MITSUI OUTLET PARK威秀影城||HFR 3D||新北市林口區文化三路一段356號（MITSUI OUTLET PARK 林口）3樓|
|土城秀泰影城||HFR 3D||新北市土城區學府路二段210號（日月光廣場 ）1樓|
|新竹巨城威秀影城||HFR 3D||新竹市東區民權路176號（Big City遠東巨城購物中心）4樓之3|
|台中TIGER CITY威秀影城||HFR 3D||台中市西屯區河南路三段120-1號（老虎城購物中心）4至6樓|
|台中麗寶秀泰影城||HFR 3D||台中市后里區月眉東路二段181號（麗寶OUTLET MALLD區）3樓|
|高雄SKM Park國賓影城||HFR 3D||高雄市前鎮區中山四路100號（SKM Park Outlets 高雄草衙）大道東3樓|
|澎湖昇恆昌in89豪華數位影城||HFR 3D||澎湖縣馬公市同和路158號（Pier 3 三號港）4樓|
IMAX is a type of giant screen film developed by the Canadian IMAX Corporation. In addition to having a large screen, special paint is used on the screen, which is then projected onto the giant screen using lasers. A regular commercial 35mm film has 4 perforations per frame, whereas the IMAX film’s surface area is ten times larger than a traditional 35mm film, with a high resolution that delivers clear and natural images. Even when projected onto a screen ten times larger than a typical 35mm screen, the images remain sharp and vivid, creating a more lifelike experience. IMAX’s exclusive sound system can create realistic surround sound, accurately reproducing the location of sound in the film.
IMAX 3D Films
When combined with 3D glasses, IMAX creates an immersive viewing experience that surpasses that of a regular 3D screen.
Movie theaters in Taiwan that offer IMAX versions.
4DX technology is a movie technology developed in 2009 that adds many simulated environmental effects to the visual experience of watching a movie, allowing for a more immersive presentation of specific scenes in the movie. The 4DX effect is divided into two types:
- “Dynamic chair effect”
- “Environmental effect”.
The dynamic chair effect allows viewers to directly feel the dynamic changes in the movie through the movement of the chair in three dimensions, while the environmental effect uses water mist, odors, wind effects, and smoke to create a realistic sense of being there. Compared to regular movies, 4DX provides a more rich and comprehensive sensory experience.
4DX HFR 3D movies
4DX HFR 3D movies combine the immersive sound and lighting effects of 4DX with high frame rate (HFR) video for a fully immersive movie experience.
Theaters in Taiwan offer 4DX versions of movies.
|林口MITSUI OUTLET PARK威秀影城||4DX||新北市林口區文化三路一段356號（MITSUI OUTLET PARK 林口）3樓|
D-BOX is a newly developed shaking chair from Canada. Using its unique patented technology, the “D-BOX Motion Code™”, the system accurately designs codes that match the film’s plot, which are then transmitted to the platform or the system inside the seat to produce motion effects. The shaking can be adjusted vertically, horizontally, or forward and backward according to the movie’s plot and images, and the vibration intensity can be adjusted according to the audience’s preferences, providing a real-life entertainment experience. However, some people may find the vibrations affect the movie-watching experience, which depends on individual acceptance.
There is a vibration adjustment device located at the right armrest of the D-BOX seat. After the film officially starts, the D-BOX seat’s vibration intensity default setting will be at a medium level, and you can adjust the vibration intensity based on your personal preferences.
Theaters in Taiwan offer D-BOX versions of movies.
|高雄SKM Park國賓影城||D-BOX||高雄市前鎮區中山四路100號（SKM Park Outlets 高雄草衙）大道東3樓|
Specialty Theaters in Taiwan
As theaters face increasing competition, moviegoers have more options beyond just different versions of the same film. Hardware and software services are now part of the selection process. Let’s take a look at some of the different specialty theaters in Taiwan!
Giant Screen Theaters
As the name suggests, these theaters attract moviegoers with super-sized screens. Although they may not have IMAX equipment, they often use RGB laser technology to enhance the size of the screen, providing a more spectacular viewing experience. In addition, most of them are equipped with Dolby Atmos sound systems to enhance the auditory experience.
Theaters in Taiwan offering Giant Screen theaters.
Dolby Atmos Surround Sound
In movie theaters, Dolby Atmos uses innovative and unique layering techniques to create soundtracks that flow throughout the entire theater, including from above with overhead speakers. Compared to Dolby Digital’s independent channels, Dolby Atmos in theaters has up to 64 independent seamless surround sound speakers and produces a higher sense of space using speakers placed overhead. The sound is completely synchronized with the visual on-screen experience, reshaping the creative and experiential aspects of entertainment, allowing creatives to precisely place every sound where they want it for a more immersive audio experience.
Taiwanese theaters with Dolby Atmos:
|台北西門町in89豪華數位影城||Premium COACH廳（Dolby Atmos）||台北市萬華區武昌街二段89號|
|桃園青埔新光影城||LUXE + Dolby ATMOS||桃園市中壢區春德路107號（置地廣場·桃園）3至5樓|
|百老匯數位影城||RGB純雷射旗艦廳 Dolby Atmos VIP影廳||新竹縣竹北市自強南路36號（享平方ShownSquare）3樓|
|台中文心秀泰影城||CINEMA + Dolby Atmos||台中市南屯區文心南路289號（秀泰生活台中文心店）7至8樓|
|高雄SKM Park國賓影城||Dolby Atmos||高雄市前鎮區中山四路100號（SKM Park Outlets 高雄草衙）大道東3樓|
- Vieshow Cinemas (微風廣場) Taipei Xinyi
- Vieshow Cinemas (信義威秀影城) Taipei Xinyi A8
- Vieshow Cinemas (台北日新威秀影城) Taipei Nanjing E. Rd.
- Vieshow Cinemas (板橋大遠百威秀影城) New Taipei City Banqiao
- Vieshow Cinemas (台中Tiger City威秀影城) Taichung Xitun Dist.
- Vieshow Cinemas (高雄大遠百威秀影城) Kaohsiung Lingya Dist.
- Vieshow Cinemas (高雄夢時代威秀影城) Kaohsiung Qianzhen Dist.
- Showtime Cinemas (秀泰影城) Taipei Qsquare Mall
- Showtime Cinemas (秀泰影城) Taipei Nanjing Fuxing
- Showtime Cinemas (秀泰影城) New Taipei City Luzhou
- Showtime Cinemas (秀泰影城) Taoyuan Tiger City
- Showtime Cinemas (秀泰影城) Taichung Top City
- Showtime Cinemas (秀泰影城) Tainan Shangri-La Mall
- Showtime Cinemas (秀泰影城) Kaohsiung Dream Mall
Premium COACH theater at in89 luxury digital cinema
The Premium COACH theater, brought to you by in89 luxury digital cinema, focuses on the first-class experience with adjustable electric seats combined with the FAS sound system. In addition to the DOLBY ATMOS panoramic sound system, it also offers cocktails, non-slip meal trays, blankets, and wet wipes, as well as children’s booster seats and 3D glasses.
Special cinemas in Taiwan for massage and family fun
OSIM uDivine Massage Hall
Yes, you haven’t seen it yet, it’s the cinema built with the OSIM uDivine Chair, endorsed by the Emperor of Hong Kong, Andy Lau. The cinema brings in OSIM’s signature 4-hand Emperor Chair massage chairs, emphasizing a realistic tiger grip massage experience, and using AI to detect and envelop moviegoers’ body shape. A staff member will guide you to your seat when you enter the cinema. This cinema is available for ticket reservation in the New Taipei City Tianmu Shin Kong Cinemas and Taoyuan Qingpu Shin Kong Cinemas.
BOOMBOOM Family Cinema
For parents with children, it may have been a long time since you had the chance to go to the movies. But there are cinemas that have thought of you, such as the in89 Premium Digital Cinema, which has designed a movie theater with grass and slide space, as well as a large family sofa. During the movie, small lights are kept on, and soft grass mats are installed in the aisle for children to play. The sound is also controlled to be softer so as not to startle the children, creating a fun and relaxing space for families to enjoy together. Currently, the in89 BOOMBOOM Family Cinema is available at in89 Luxury Cinema in Taichung Fengyuan, in89 Luxury Cinema in Chiayi, in89 Luxury Cinema in Kaohsiung, and in89 Premium Digital Cinema in Penghu.
Movie Theater Where You Can Lie Down
Yes, you read that right. The cinema has taken into account people’s desire to lie down when sitting and has actually brought beds into the movie theater!
Sealy Cinema in New Taipei City
The only Sealy Cinema in Taiwan is located in New Taipei City’s Shin Kong Cinemas, offering a movie theater with Sealy mattresses. It exclusively uses the FlexiCased Edge Support, a patented floating stabilizing support system designed specifically for electric beds, which provides all-around support and stability to the bed. The new generation of the SRx® Beautyrest Individually Encased Coil System, made of lightweight and sturdy titanium alloy materials, responds to the weight, posture, and movement of the body to provide optimal support and comfort, whether you lie down or sit up. Each ticket includes a combo with a drink and popcorn, and if you want more popcorn or drinks during the movie, you can use the tableside service, and the staff will bring it to your bed.
TEMPUR® DEMP Room in Showtime Cinema at Wenxin Road in Taichung
Showtime Cinema at Wenxin Road in Taichung also features a cinema with beds, known as the TEMPUR® DEMP Room, which uses electric beds from the Danish brand TEMPUR® DEMP, the only pillow brand certified by both the US Space Agency and the US Space Foundation.
Ticket packages also come with meals, drinks, and popcorn. While waiting for the movie to start, you can enjoy various desserts and snacks at the self-service lounge area and bring them into the cinema when the movie begins.
Ultimate service with dining options
MUCROWN premium cinema
The MUVIE CINEMAS Songren Vieshow is located in the MUCROWN premium cinema in the Far Eastern Department Store Xinyi A13, known as the top brand of Vieshow Cinemas. The MUCROWN | LEXUS premium cinema features a design style with a Chinese accent, with understated yet luxurious decoration, and high-contrast laser projection and hidden 7.1 surround sound. The entire space is furnished with prestigious leather seats. A ticket includes a meal package worth around 400 dollars, so dining should be arranged before the movie. Staff will guide patrons to their seats.
GOLD CLASS by Vieshow
Also launched by Vieshow Group, GOLD CLASS is a premium cinema experience with full-service offerings, including a professional bar where guests can enjoy food and drinks before the movie with personalized service. The cinema provides exclusive USB charging devices, comfortable blankets, storage space, and leather seats that can easily adjust seating angles.
Royal Cinema, built by the Beauty Group, uses spacious and comfortable electrically adjustable high-end sofa lounge chairs inside the theater, along with services such as personal meal delivery and blankets. They have also partnered with the CJ Bistro drink brand to provide freshly prepared meals on demand. Tickets include a meal package worth around 400 dollars, so customers are advised to dine before the movie and will be guided to their seats by staff.
Since “Avatar: The Way of Water” was shot with the Sony Cinealta Venice 3D camera that meets IMAX standards at a rate of 48 frames per second and with 4K resolution throughout, it provided an opportunity to organize all the unique movie theaters in Taiwan. Normally, 3D movies require sitting closer to the screen to achieve an immersive effect. Sitting too far away can lead to a loss of the 3D effect, while sitting too close can cause dizziness or make subtitles difficult to read. This is mainly due to the post-production process of converting 2D to 3D. For “Avatar: The Way of Water,” it is recommended to watch the highest level version to fully present the visual effects that the director wants to emphasize. However, since 3D requires wearing glasses, it is still necessary to choose the version that suits oneself.