Tuesday, March 31, 2009

3D glasses too expensive for studios

From filmstalker, It seems that while some of the studios are happy to help pay the huge costs for installing digital projection systems across the U.S. they aren't so happy to help with the cost of 3D glasses for each of the films, and that cost is going to be handed back to the consumer. That's you.

Fox is the first studio that has publicly announced that it won't be paying for the expensive 3D glasses for each film, and will leave that to the exhibitors – commonly known as the cinemas.

Why should that be such a problem you might ask? Well that bill can run up to US $1 million per film just for supplying the glasses, and remember that there are still limited cinemas showing 3D at the moment in the U.S.

That is a hefty cost for the cinemas to cover, although it won't be that full amount, they'll just have to pay for the glasses for their screens and showings. However you can see where they will recoup that cost from, it's not going to be a simple case of absorbing the costs, especially in the current financial climate. I think it's a safe bet to assume that those costs will come back to the audience.

The Hollywood Reporter goes on to say that Fox is facing a tough time since it's just about to release Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in 3D and being the only studio so far not to pay for the glasses for the showing it might well reflect in the box office success.

There's even a quote from another unnamed studio, so there's no way to tell how big or small they are:

“They should reconsider their position, until we see how the 3-D rollout goes.”
Is that a suggestion that there might be issues with the rollout of the equipment? That perhaps the total domination of cinema by 3D as the American studios predict might not happen? Oh I hope so.

No other studios have taken an official stance either way as yet, although they all assist in the cost of the special glasses, and this could be the point where they begin taking sides and the idea of whether 3D continues successfully comes down to the people behind the scenes, not the audience.

Will this impact the rollout of 3D films or perhaps the box office returns? Will you pay extra to see a 3D film because you'll be paying a premium for the glasses?

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