Expect consumers to start giving the finger to those “keep 3D green” boxes that sit outside each auditorium, as Sony has just set a precedent for a studio withdrawing their policy to reimburse movie theaters for the 3D glasses used for their releases. Prepare to call the cops, we’re about to hear the muffled noises of ole Mommy studio and Daddy exhibitor yelling at each other through the walls of the cineplex once again.
Essentially Sony wants to push American audiences towards a European model wherein moviegoers buy and keep their 3D glasses, cinching up the orgy of recycling and repackaging that costs the studios anywhere from $1m to $10m for a massive blockbuster release (like say… The Amazing Spider-Man 3D or Men In Black 3D?).
There is no official bitching from the theater owners yet and Sony claims to be announcing this move, which will be effective May of next year, so that there’s time to figure out an arrangement.
It was inevitable that this whole glasses system was going to have to get cleaned up at some point, and that it was only going to happen by one side cinching up the purse strings. The real problem is that even if we moved to a model in which we bought 3D glasses and brought them back with us, it’s unlikely theaters are going to slice off the portion of the ticket price that the glasses represent (usually about 50 cents) and make that an optional expense if you don’t bring your own. More likely prices will remain the same and an additional buck or two will be added on, like bowling shoes when you go bowling. Sure you can bring your own, but expect them to shoot you a look! Or maybe they’ll keep things status quo for the consumer, and simply ramp up recycling/cleaning efforts like you see in many IMAX theaters.
Who knows how this will shake out, but it comes down to money and inside politics that don’t much matter until the result is distilled into a consumer-affecting change. Once that happens we’ll know if the exhibitors have shot themselves in the foot again or not. You can’t save an industry by making customers groan every time they walk up to the box office…
EDIT: I just spotted these bad boys for we wearers of glasses, so maybe this problem is solved for me already…
Source | THR