The price of going out to watch a 3D movie in a theater is going up in 2012. Sony Pictures announced it is going to stop paying for 3D movie theater glasses starting May 2012.
3D is expensive said one studio executive, and the cost of promotion, distribution and items like 3D glasses directly hits the bottom line. Movie studios have been covering the cost of 3D to help push the technology and increase awareness and popularity but today’s consumer knows what 3D is and many have experienced 3D one or more times.
The thought behind Sony’s initiative to charge movie goers for 3D glass is that it would lower the cost of 3D movies by reducing the surcharge that is already applied to every 3D movie to subsidize the glasses. Lower 3D movie prices would increase attendance and lead to higher box office revenues. Making patrons purchase 3D glasses is also seen as hygienic, where movie goers don’t have to where glasses previously worn by someone else. Selling higher quality glasses is also a Green move where flimsy disposable glasses would be eliminated and fewer poorly made 3D glasses would be damaged and thrown away after only a few screenings.
Will the public buy into Sony’s new plan is any one guess and will the other movie studios also start charging for 3D glasses next year remains to be seen.
One spinoff to this move that no one is talking about is the fact that home owners with Passive (FPR) 3D televisions and 3D glasses may be able to use their own Passive 3D home glasses in their local movie theater and the passive movie theater glasses may also work in home with their passive 3D television panels. Charging for 3D glasses at movie theaters may actually have a spinoff effect increasing the sales of Passive (FPR) 3D TVs. This move maybe the nail in coffin for Active Shutter 3D technology and just the impetuous needed to push Passive 3D TV over the top.