updated 10:55 pm EDT, Tue September 27, 2011
Other studios expected to follow suit
Sony has reportedly sent a letter to theater owners notifying them that it is planning to stop paying for 3D glasses. The studio currently foots the bill for supplying 3D glasses to moviegoers, however the policy is estimated to cost the company approximately $5 million to $10 million for the most popular global releases, according to a Hollywood Reporter report. Even the cost for smaller films is said to reach $1.5 million to $2 million, or approximately $0.50 for each ticket sold.
Theater owners are expected to oppose the shift, as most Americans are accustomed to paying a bit extra for 3D movies but without having to pay an additional fee for the glasses. Studios, however, argue that theaters should embrace the model as a potential source of additional revenue.
"This is an issue that has to be resolved between us and our exhibition partners, " said Sony distribution executive Rory Bruer. "We are trying to give them a very lengthy lead time in regards to the change in policy."
Sony plans to stop paying for the glasses in May, before Men in Black III and The Amazing Spider-Man hit theaters.