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Sony not to pay for 3D glasses from 1 May next year!

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MUMBAI: In a move that might see an uproar by exhibitors at large, Sony Pictures Entertainment has notified theater owners by way of a letter that it will no longer pay for 3D glasses from 1 May next year.

Sony, along with other studios, is in favor of moving toward an ownership model, requiring moviegoers to buy their 3D glasses at the theatre (the studios argue that it could be a new revenue stream for exhibitors). Such a system is already in place in a number of foreign territories, including the U.K., Australia, Italy and Spain.

However, American consumers are now used to getting the glasses for free when they pay a 3D surcharge (usually 3 or 4 dollars), and the habit could be hard to break.

"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 has said in a statement.

The prices of 3D glasses is no laughing matter though, studios can spend $5 million to $10 million worldwide for a films but most of the cost is incurred in the North American marketplace.

Sony has two high-profile 3D films lined up next summer by way of Men in Black III and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Glasses for smaller films can cost $1.5 million to $2 million. Translated, 3D glasses account for about 50 cents of a theater ticket.

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