Sony to stop supplying 3D glasses at theaters

sony to stop supplying 3d glasses at theaters kevin mazurBeginning next summer, the movie going experience will be a bit different for audiences–and possibly more expensive. The big push over the last year has been 3D. It is almost as if there is court order requiring all action films to be released in 3D. At the very least there seems to be a sort of private agreement between studios to push the format. Ever since Avatar, studios have seen the lucrative benefits of 3D movies. Theater owners, however, have not been quite as happy to embrace the technology, as it requires major upgrades to convert older theaters into 3D-capable screens. And for many exhibitors, the cost of 3D movies is about to get a bit higher.

Sony Pictures Entertainment has begun to notify theater owners that beginning next year, it will no longer pay for the RealD glasses needed to watch a 3D film. For smaller films, the cost of disposable 3D glasses can reach upwards of $2 million, which makes up about 50 cents of each ticket cost. A major 3D release, however, can cost a studio between $5 million to $10 million per movie in 3D glasses alone, a cost that will now need to be absorbed by the theater owners beginning on May 1, 2012.

“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,” Sony worldwide president of distribution Rory Bruer told The Hollywood Reporter.

The timing also means that two of Sony’s biggest upcoming movies, The Amazing Spider-Man and Men in Black III, both of which will be presented in 3D, will not have the 3D glasses subsidized by Sony.

Sony and many other studios are pushing for an ownership model for 3D glasses, where filmgoers will need to either bring their own glasses, or buy a new pair at the theater. The studios have argued that this could be a new revenue stream for theater owners. Whether or not American audiences will be willing to pay extra for glasses on top of paying the additional fee for the 3D movies, which currently runs $3-$4 to begin with, might be an issue.

Currently RealD glasses are recycled after each use, but the costs to provide them per movie remain high. Studio heads have claimed that they never intended for the disposable glasses trend to be a permanent one, and that personal ownership of 3D glasses is the next inevitable step. But, of course, at the heart of this change is simply money. This summer’s box office was the worst in 14 years, and studios are looking for ways to cut back. The real question is how will theater owners respond to the potential new costs.

Movies & TV

‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ trailer unleashes a bevy of beasts

Legendary Pictures has released the first full-length trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the sequel to 2014's Godzilla, which pits the giant lizard against a host of new monstrous threats.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Home Theater

Sling TV ramps up its base programming with Discovery Networks for free

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Movies & TV

Disney reveals epic first picture from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction

The Millennium Falcon is fueled up and ready to embark on its Smuggler's Run at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the new theme park attraction set to open in 2019 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Movies & TV

The best Amazon Original series, from 'Bosch' to 'Transparent'

Amazon Studios may not have as big a collection of in-house productions as Netflix, but there are still lots of shows worthy of your eyeballs. Here are our picks for the best Amazon original series.
Movies & TV

HBO Go vs. HBO Now: Which streaming service is right for you?

If you're looking to get access to HBO, you might be comparing HBO Go and HBO Now. We break down the differences between the twin streaming services and see how they compare to one another.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.