Among the honorees receiving awards at this year’s ShowEast conference is Lumma 4D E-Motion, which since 2016 has installed motion seating technology installed in 13 different countries across the LATAM and EMEA regions. 4D E-Motion is a segment of Lumma Audiovisual Engineering, founded in 2014 by Marcos Franco, Antonela Salvador, Gabriel Castarés, and Sebastián Franco (pictured) who initially focused on developing technological attractions for theme parks. Since moving into the cinema space, Lumma has partnered with a variety of high-profile chains, among them Cinépolis, Cinemark, Multicines, Caribbean Cinemas, and Megarama; says Andrew Sunshine, president of the Film Expo Group, Lumma has “been an innovator in cinema seating and a pioneer in helping create the premium movie-going experience. We congratulate them on this richly deserved honor.”
Below, Boxoffice Pro speaks with CEO Marcos Franco, accepting the award on behalf of Lumma at ShowEast’s LATAM Award Presentation on Monday.
Immersive seating is a growing segment in exhibition. What makes Lumma 4D stand out from other competitors in the space?
Lumma was established by a dynamic team of filmmakers and engineers united by a shared vision: [to] ffer a truly immersive cinematic journey with the best technology available.
We’ve pioneered an unparalleled, robust technology, designed for low-effort installation and hassle-free maintenance. Our constant dedication to combining cutting-edge technology with an artistically talented team has resulted in the most precise and immersive cinematic experience [available].
Our exhibitor partners are very satisfied with both the quality of the 4D experience and the technology performance, and they keep expanding their business with us, enhancing our mutual commitment in this commercial partnership.
Our excellence in synchronization, precise 4D Motion code programming, and effects integration culminate in an outstanding performance. The artistic criteria for the synchronization was built together with the studios’ representatives, who play a key role in the process and continue to contribute to its improvement.
In terms of equipment performance, we install a redundant control system to guarantee the seamless performance of every single show. We also have a remote alarm and monitoring system to anticipate any issues that may arise. All the components are extremely reliable; in fact, we’ve never charged our clients for any spare parts.
We’ve remained committed to continuous innovation and excellence within the entertainment industry.
What is the current footprint of Lumma 4D? Are there any markets in immersive seating that are already mature? Which markets still have an opportunity to grow?
We have achieved significant growth in Latin America and established our presence in the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa, currently operating in 45 locations in 13 countries.
Our commitment to expansion remains strong as we set our sights on Eastern Europe for our next ventures. We are also actively planning our deployment in the U.S. market, reaffirming our dedication to continuous growth and global reach.
What is the ROI impact that immersive seating can bring to exhibitors?
4D E-Motion experiences have consistently led to higher attendance numbers, as moviegoers are drawn to the unique and captivating cinematic environment. This surge in ticket sales, combined with the upcharge price, contributes to enhanced revenue streams.
Exhibitors have been able to implement premium pricing models for immersive seating, allowing them to double [their] price for an upgraded movie experience. This adds to the overall ROI. The final result varies from country to country; in some cases the exhibitors have been able to recover the investment in two to three years.
What are some of the recent success stories you’ve seen with your clients?
We have many successful stories. One of them is that of Multicines Ecuador, which introduced the country’s first 4D experience with Lumma in 2019. They had a plan for further installations to add more theaters… Initially, the plan aimed at slow expansion, but upon witnessing the positive occupancy rates in the theaters, they decided to accelerate their expansion efforts. As a result, there are currently five theaters in operation, with two more in the process of being installed.
Another example of exponential expansion is Megarama. They opened their first 4D E-Motion theater in Annecy, France, in November 2022. Since then, they have gone on to install three more theaters in France, along with one in Morocco, and they are moving forward with an even larger expansion plan with Lumma 4D E-Motion.
Have you seen consumers be more attracted to immersive seating experiences in the return to cinemas from the pandemic?
Yes, there has been a noticeable trend of consumers being more attracted to premium experiences as cinemas have reopened following the pandemic. After a period of limited entertainment options and social distancing, consumers are seeking novel and exciting experiences. 4D E-Motion offers a unique and captivating way to enjoy movies, making it an attractive option for those looking to break away from their routine. Moviegoers are now looking for more than just a movie; they want an unforgettable, multisensory adventure that transports them to new realms of entertainment.
What is the best way to market immersive seating titles at the movies? Are there any campaigns or films that have done it the best?
Providing a one-of-a-kind experience to the moviegoers is key to promote the format. Our 4D E-Motion movies have the power to transform viewers into 4D fans. Those who try this format often find themselves spreading their experience on social networks. [Word of] mouth plays an important role in promoting the format.
Each 4D E-Motion movie offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
This year, our 4D E-Motion lineup boasts nearly 60 movies, featuring a rich variety of genres. We mostly showcase Hollywood blockbusters. Our range of content doesn’t stop at thrilling action films; we also have terrifying horror, animation, live action, sci-fi, thrillers, adventure, and much more to offer.
Some examples of titles we’ve showcased this year include M3gan, The Flash, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Fast X, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts, The Meg 2, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, The Little Mermaid, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, Elemental, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, and The Nun II.
Embracing innovation is crucial for this industry to survive into the future. Why is it important for cinemas to adopt new technologies in their circuits?
In an ever-evolving entertainment landscape, where competition is fierce and digital streaming platforms offer convenience at home, cinemas need to continually up their game. Premium formats, like 4D E-Motion, are a strategic move in this direction. They provide a unique selling point for theaters, making the cinematic outing more enticing than ever. By offering these compelling and immersive experiences, cinemas cannot only retain their relevance but also thrive in an industry that’s constantly changing. So, the decision to embrace premium formats is not just about staying in the race; it’s about leading the way into the future of entertainment.
Premium formats are becoming the frontrunners. The entire complex benefits from having a theater with new features. The reason for this enthusiasm is clear: Premium formats like 4D E-Motion elevate the entire cinematic experience. They take moviegoing beyond the ordinary, turning it into a thrilling adventure.
Adopting new technologies in the cinema industry is crucial for remaining competitive, attracting a broader audience, and providing unique and memorable experiences. Our exhibitors partners are planning to have at least one 4D E-Motion theater in each of their complexes. This draws audiences to cinemas, offering an experience they cannot replicate at home. It allows cinemas to adapt to consumer new demands, increasing operational efficiency.