We all want to try and save whatever money we can during the recession, but this is ridiculous.
Yes, the news recently hit that Sony will no longer make any more 3D glasses for theaters, and that customers will have to buy their own to bring to 3D movies, effective May 1, 2012, and needless to say, theater owners are not happy.
Crave headlined its report, "Sony Stops Paying For 3D Glasses, Everyone Gets Pissed," especially considering it costs $5 to 10 million per movie to supply glasses to everyone.
And Deadline's report on the matter quotes NATO, the National Association of Theater Owners, as calling all this "myopic" on Sony's part.
In part, NATO's statement said, "Sony's suggestion is insensitive to our patrons, particularly in the midst of continuing economic distress. Sony's actions raise serious concerns for our ember who believe that provision of 3D glasses to patrons is well established as part of the 3D experience."
Considering Sony has two big 3D movies coming out next summer, The Amazing Spider-Man and Men in Black III, the studio obviously thinks they're gonna get their way by playing hardball, but it could blow up in their faces. The L.A. Times reported the chief executive of Regal Entertainment Group, America's biggest theater circuit, may have to show less 3D movies if Sony won't front for the glasses. The Times reports that Fox tried this stunt in 2009, the same year they released Avatar, but soon backtracked.
Finally Sony responded to NATO on Deadline, and it was classic Hollywood backpedaling and double-speak in the face of confrontation: "NATO's statement that is has been 'understood' that distributors would always bear the cost of 3D glasses is incorrect, because there never has been any such agreement. In fact, we have been speaking with people in the industry for a long time about the need to move to a new model, so this certainly comes as a surprise to no one in the business. We invite theater owners to engage in a collegial dialog with us about this issue, including at ShowEast next month…We are confident a reasonable solution can be reached that brings benefits to consumers, the entertainment industry and the environment."
Here's hoping smarter, and cooler heads, will prevail, because none of this nonsense is in anyone's best interests, especially Sony's.