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RPX vs. ScreenX: What’s the Difference?

RPX and ScreenX logos side by side.

RPX vs. ScreenX: What’s the Difference?

You likely already know that 4K UHD and HDR signify some premium quality home entertainment. When streaming a TV show or watching a movie on home video, you know to look for certain things to get the best possible quality. But what about at the movie theater? IMAX, Dolby Cinema, 4DX… what do these things mean? Take RPX vs. ScreenX, for example. What’s the difference between these two forms of theatrical presentation? And which one is better overall? Let’s compare and contrast them both below.

RPX vs. ScreenX: Side by Side Comparison

RPXScreenX
What Is It?Regal Premium ExperiencePanoramic film format
First Introduced20102012
AvailabilityExclusive to Regal CinemasRegal Cinemas, B&B Theatres, Marcus Theatres, and more
Additional Costs?YesYes
3D Showings?YesNo; See 4DX
Number of ScreensOneThree
Film SelectionMore offeringsFewer offerings
Closest CompetitorDolby CinemaIMAX

RPX vs. ScreenX: Key Differences

With some of these basics out of the way, let’s dig a little deeper into the key differences between RPX and ScreenX. What truly sets these two premium formats apart? Why do they both cost extra over a standard movie ticket? And what are you getting yourself into when you buy a movie ticket for something shown in RPX vs. ScreenX? Understanding these key differences should help clear things up for you.

RPX vs IMAX
There are many factors that distinguish RPX vs. ScreenX presentations.

Screen Size

RPX gives audiences a larger screen size compared to standard theaters in Regal auditoriums. Its goal is to use this large screen to deliver a more immersive experience with enhanced visual and sound quality over your average moviegoing experience. ScreenX, on the other hand, stretches the screen wider instead of taller. It projects images onto both walls on either side of the screen, creating a one-of-a-kind panoramic effect.

2D vs. 3D

In addition to the difference in screen size, RPX vs. ScreenX also differs when it comes to 2D vs. 3D films. RPX offers movies in both 2D and 3D formats, while ScreenX focuses only on 2D films. To see a 3D film in ScreenX, you’d need to visit a 4DX theater instead. Just be warned: the experience of a 3D movie in a panoramic auditorium can feel incredibly overwhelming for some. Don’t be surprised if 4DX makes you feel sick.

Number of Screens

As of this writing, Regal Cinemas has over 500 locations in all. Across these locations, Regal offers nearly seven thousand screens in total. While not all locations offer RPX auditoriums, RPX screens are undoubtedly more widespread than ScreenX locations. To date, ScreenX has under 400 screens that span across the planet. This means you have far more RPX screens to choose from than ScreenX screens.

Availability by Venue

Going hand in hand with this previous point is the availability of RPX vs. ScreenX by venue. RPX is a format exclusive to Regal Cinemas locations. ScreenX, by comparison, is available through numerous theater chains globally. You can find ScreenX screens at Regal Cinemas, B&B Theatres, Marcus Theatres, and other international multiplex names throughout nearly 40 different countries. As such, ScreenX has greater availability by venue.

Film Selection

Lastly, there’s a vastly different selection of films available on RPX vs. ScreenX. RPX films do not require any special filmmaking techniques in order to play in RPX. It’s simply a way to show the movie as it was meant to be seen, complete with optimal audio and visual equipment to go with the large screen format. ScreenX, comparatively, needs films to undergo special production and post-production techniques in order to play in ScreenX. It leaves RPX with a greater selection.

5 Must-Know Facts About Premium Formats

  • Premium formats like RPX and ScreenX offer larger screens, superior sound, and more immersive visuals over your standard moviegoing experience.
  • 4DX takes ScreenX technology a step further, adding motion seats and environmental effects like wind and scents to bring the film to life.
  • Not all theaters offer premium formats like RPX or ScreenX. Install is quite an investment, so premium formats are typically only available in bigger cities or other highly populated areas.
  • Both RPX and ScreenX have a smaller range of offerings compared to a standard movie ticket. This is because they’re offering greater advantages over general admission.
  • Tickets for RPX and ScreenX films will come at a higher price tag compared to regular screenings. This is because of all the added technology and enhanced experience they offer.

The History of RPX

rpx vs imax
RPX is exclusive to Regal Cinemas locations.

Regal Cinemas debuted their signature RPX format in 2010. Short for “Regal Premium Experience,” it presented a new and exciting way to see a movie at a Regal theater. From its larger screen to its brighter projectors to its greater sound system to its more comfortable seating, the RPX format offered plenty of appealing upgrades over a general admission ticket. (You can expect to pay a little more for it, too.)

In about half a decade, Regal grew its RPX locations to nearly 100 different theaters nationwide. Today, RPX showtimes come in both 2D and RealD 3D formats. Some recent examples of 2023 films shown in RPX include Hayao Miyazaki’s animated feature The Boy and the Heron, Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone’s latest movie Poor Things, and The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

How ScreenX Compares

imax vs 4dx
The CJ CGV group created ScreenX in a similar vein to their other format, 4DX.

ScreenX came onto the scene a couple of years after RPX. However, it wasted no time expanding just as quickly across the globe. Conceived by the same name behind 4DX presentations, the CJ CGV group and co-developer KAIST describe the format as a “sideways IMAX.” It’s not literally the same, though. Turning an IMAX film sideways would simply give you the 70mm format, not ScreenX. Nevertheless, the description helps get the point across.

A better way to describe ScreenX is to call it a panoramic presentation. By projecting the film onto three screens on three sides of the auditorium, it helps create the illusion of a 270-degree projection. Unlike RPX presentations, theaters use ScreenX almost exclusively for action films. In other words, you probably won’t see a drama, a comedy, or a romance in ScreenX. It would likely be a waste of the technology’s potential.

RPX vs. ScreenX: Pros and Cons

Pros of RPXCons of RPX
RPX offers larger screens, superior sound quality, and more comfortable seating.Tickets for RPX screenings tend to be more expensive compared to regular theater tickets.
More films are available to screen in RPX in both 2D and 3D formats.RPX is not available in every Regal Cinemas theater.
There are hundreds of Regal multiplexes across the nation, many with RPX screens.Movies optimized for IMAX might not be a good fit for RPX.
RPX isn’t as likely to nauseate sensitive viewers.RPX is limited exclusively to Regal Cinemas — no other chains.
Pros of ScreenXCons of ScreenX
ScreenX creates a unique panoramic viewing experience.Far fewer films play in ScreenX compared to RPX.
Movies played in ScreenX feel much more immersive than standard screenings.ScreenX doesn’t offer films in 3D — that’s what 4DX is for.
Movies played in ScreenX are optimized to make the most of the format.Some may be nauseated by ScreenX’s 270-degree presentation.
ScreenX is not exclusive to any one theater chain or brand.It might be hard to know where to look during action-packed scenes.

RPX vs. ScreenX: Which Is Best?

By now, the RPX vs. ScreenX debate should be much clearer. As you’ve learned, RPX is a premium large format exclusive to Regal Cinemas. It offers better projection, greater audio, and more comfortable seats in a larger auditorium. ScreenX, by comparison, gives you a 270-degree panoramic presentation primarily reserved for action and adventure films. It’s available at far more locations than just Regal Cinemas. RPX is our pick for the superior presentation format overall because of its wider selection of films and more traditional viewing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is RPX?

RPX is a premium large format exclusive to Regal Cinemas. It offers better sound quality, superior projection, and more comfortable seats, among other things.

What is ScreenX?

ScreenX stretches movies onto the two walls on either side of the main screen, creating a 270-degree panoramic effect.

Are RPX and ScreenX movies in 3D?

No, only RPX offers both 2D and 3D films. ScreenX is not available in 3D, but its sister format 4DX is.

Where can I find RPX theaters?

RPX theaters are only available in certain Regal Cinemas locations. It cannot be found at any other theater chains.

Why are RPX and ScreenX tickets more expensive?

RPX and ScreenX tickets are more expensive than general admission tickets because they offer a premium viewing experience. From larger screens to better audio to superior seating, they come at an extra fee.

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