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Sony to stop paying for 3D glasses in theaters

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Could this be the beginning of the end of the recent 3D craze?

There’s no denying that 3D has helped studios beef up their profits as audience members pay extra at the ticket window to see enhanced versions of select films. But a move by a major studio could derail the gravy train and force patrons to rethink how much they’ll pay for a 3D movie experience.

Sony Pictures confirmed that they will stop paying for the 3D disposable glasses used in theaters starting in May 2012. Of course, the studio has “The Amazing Spider-Man” coming to 3D theaters next July, so this is a bold statement, to say the least.

You might not have known this, but the studios eat the cost of the glasses, and it could cost up to $10 million additional per film (at a price of $.50 per pair of glasses).

The studio, according to EW.com, is “reportedly in favor of an ownership model that would force audiences to purchase the glasses — a system that is already common in Europe and Australia.” This, in theory, would cut down on the need to recycle glasses, so long as people bought one pair for a fixed price and held on to their glasses.

“If you already have your own pair from the last time you went to the movies, then you don’t have to spend that extra [price],” says Rick Heineman of RealD. “Or, in many cases, people are buying their own pairs of premium eyewear, whether it’s from Oakley, Polaroid, or Prada.”

What do you think? Would you buy one pair and hold on to them? Would you mind if 3D tickets increased even more to cover the costs? Will this change the process much, or is it yet another cost-increase in our rapidly changing economy that moviegoers will simply have to absorb? Let us know what you think below.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • September 28, 2011 | Permalink |

    This is an awesome idea . . . if the 3D glasses are sold separately from the tickets. If I had to buy glasses once and then paid the same for a 2D vs 3D movie. I would start going to 3D movies. I refuse to pay the extra money just for the damn glasses.

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