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Sony studios will stop subsidizing moviegoers' 3D glasses

Sony will stop paying for the 3D glasses issued to US moviegoers, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Currently, cinemas showing the studios' 3D films provide RealD-supplied glasses subsidised by Sony. The company claims these glasses can cost them $5 to $10 million per blockbuster release.

The move is likely to anger cinema owners who estimate that these glasses can cost up to $0.50 per film ticket. The action comes into force next May according to a warning letter sent to cinemas by Sony.

Sony Pictures spokesman Steve Elzer said in a statement that “there are constructive ways to deal with the cost of 3-D glasses that will not adversely impact consumers and can also help the environment.” He called on theatre owners to come to the table to work out the issue.

Industry observers note that the decision could not have come at a worse time. 3D fans are increasingly unhappy with the questionable quality of some 3D films as well as the higher prices charged for 3D shows. Sony has two 3D blockbuster films coming out next spring - The Amazing Spiderman and Men in Black III.

The Hollywood major’s decision is also bad news for RealD, whose shares were down 15% today. Shares of big-screen exhibitor Imax have fallen as well.

Story filed 29.09.11

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