Come May 2012, audiences may have to spend more to watch 3D movies
Sony to stop paying for 3D glasses from May 2012
Sony Pictures Group has sent out a letter to all the theater owners in the North American marketplace that the company would not be paying for 3D glasses as of May 1, 2012. The company has taken this step in advance and has informed almost all the exhibitors about this sudden change in the policy. Sony Distribution President, Rory Bruer said, "This is an issue that has to be resolved between us and our exhibition partners. We are trying to give them a very lengthy lead time in regards to the change in policy.”
With exhibitors not reacting to the letter from Sony, it is still an uncertainty as to who would eventually pay for the glasses. Speculations are that distributors could be pushed to pay for the glasses or the viewers could be asked to shelve out money to buy the glasses and in turn reuse them.
The time when 3D technology was rising, it was again undecided that who would be paying for the glasses. So as to give confidence to the movie owners to adapt the technology in the theaters, Disney initially covered the fee for 3D glasses. Later on, this trend was followed by other studios. Each time a 3D movie is released, Sony and other studios shed out between 5-10 million dollars for 3D glasses. It has been calculated that 3D glasses for smaller movies can cost between 1.5-2 million dollars. So, it becomes very expensive for studios to pay such a huge extra amount on every single release. For this reason, Sony and other studios are in talks to drive the end audience to buy the 3D glasses.
While Sony has got two major 3D releases for next summer, the company wants the exhibitors to act on its policy change in time. Henceforth, the company has made the announcement well in advance.