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Theaters pissed at Sony for not paying for 3D glasses, Sony fights back

Oct. 3, 2011by: Paul Tassi

Last week I brought you the news that Sony had decided they weren't going to pay for your 3D glasses anymore, which was news to most of us who thought that the extra money we were paying for 3D movies was at least in part going to those glasses in the first place.

But not so, the studios bear that cost, but Sony wants to now pass on that responsibility to theaters and subsequently consumers. Needless to say, it's ruffled a few feathers, and the National Association of Theater Owners has put out a statement condemning the decision.

"Sony's suggestion is insensitive to our patrons, particularly in the midst of continuing economic distress" and says that that the studios providing 3D glasses was "established as part of the 3D experience."

But Sony is fighting back, issuing their own counter-statement to the NATO.

"There are constructive ways to deal with the cost of 3D glasses that will not adversely impact consumers, and can also help the environment. NATO's statement that it 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 dialogue with us about this issue, including at ShowEast next month. By working together on a business-to-business basis, we are confident a reasonable solution can be reached that brings benefits to consumers, the entertainment industry and the environment."

Sony just isn't going to win the PR war here, even if they're technically correct. They may talk about splitting the cost with theaters, but if ANY of the cost gets passed on to the consumer, it might just be what it takes to be the deathblow for 3D, an already struggling format due to how overpriced it is.

Extra Tidbit: Sony is the same company that charges $100 per set of glasses for its 3D TVs mind you.
Source: Deadline

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10:03AM on 10/04/2011
The best way for everyone to bear the cost of 3D glasses is to see the movie in 2D instead. That's how I've always coped with the added cost of 3D. Never seen a single modern day movie in 3D, never missed "the experience" as a consequence.
The best way for everyone to bear the cost of 3D glasses is to see the movie in 2D instead. That's how I've always coped with the added cost of 3D. Never seen a single modern day movie in 3D, never missed "the experience" as a consequence.
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11:09PM on 10/03/2011
Let 3D die then. It already costs consumers a lot. Not that they really care, but I haven't gone to see 3D in over a year. I see it as a neat novelty, not as a neccessity.
Let 3D die then. It already costs consumers a lot. Not that they really care, but I haven't gone to see 3D in over a year. I see it as a neat novelty, not as a neccessity.
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10:14PM on 10/03/2011

i'll still see it

in 2D. IMAX even costs extra (remember when you could see movies in 70mm and they cost the same as the 35mm print? oh my GOD, the theater experience used to be GREAT with it was 70mm and NOT forced to wear those annoying 3D glasses. They have had the technology to do 3D movies "without glasses" for many years now... why are we still wearing the glasses????
in 2D. IMAX even costs extra (remember when you could see movies in 70mm and they cost the same as the 35mm print? oh my GOD, the theater experience used to be GREAT with it was 70mm and NOT forced to wear those annoying 3D glasses. They have had the technology to do 3D movies "without glasses" for many years now... why are we still wearing the glasses????
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+11
9:25PM on 10/03/2011
I'm just happy that NATO is involved. Maybe this issue will go global and grab the attention of the U.N., too ;)
I'm just happy that NATO is involved. Maybe this issue will go global and grab the attention of the U.N., too ;)
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+4
7:53PM on 10/03/2011

NO

I will bring my own 3D glasses.
I will bring my own 3D glasses.
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7:48PM on 10/03/2011

Yes!!

I'm all for anything that gets 3D out of the theaters. It is used to make pointless movies, and it raises prices. I will be very happy to see 3D leave for good!
I'm all for anything that gets 3D out of the theaters. It is used to make pointless movies, and it raises prices. I will be very happy to see 3D leave for good!
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6:57PM on 10/03/2011

This is the beginning of 3D's end...

I was just *WAITING* for the straw to break the camel's back...and this just might be it. Please, oh please, let this be 3D's death rattle...
I was just *WAITING* for the straw to break the camel's back...and this just might be it. Please, oh please, let this be 3D's death rattle...
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6:36PM on 10/03/2011

Ban 3D...

and pass THAT on to Sony. Most 3D movies are shit anyway.
and pass THAT on to Sony. Most 3D movies are shit anyway.
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10:11PM on 10/03/2011
most 3d movies are best viewed as regular old 2d movies, which... the studios have always given us a choice on which version to see... the current crop of 3d flicks dont really have any gags specifically FOR the 3D format... take transformers: Dark of the moon or Captain America or Thor or Clash of the Titans... who cares about 3D for those movies?
most 3d movies are best viewed as regular old 2d movies, which... the studios have always given us a choice on which version to see... the current crop of 3d flicks dont really have any gags specifically FOR the 3D format... take transformers: Dark of the moon or Captain America or Thor or Clash of the Titans... who cares about 3D for those movies?
10:47PM on 10/03/2011
I can agree to some extent with what you are saying McKracken. However, some of those hammer and shield throws, you can't tell me, weren't meant exactly for the 3D folks.

I'll also point out that the last Disney "Christmas Carol" movie (w/Jim Carrey) was a horrendous example of 3D NOT adding anything to a story.

2D rules.
I can agree to some extent with what you are saying McKracken. However, some of those hammer and shield throws, you can't tell me, weren't meant exactly for the 3D folks.

I'll also point out that the last Disney "Christmas Carol" movie (w/Jim Carrey) was a horrendous example of 3D NOT adding anything to a story.

2D rules.
+15
5:58PM on 10/03/2011

wtf am i paying for with the increased price then?!

and why do i have to give my glasses back when i'm done? i think we're being scammed.
and why do i have to give my glasses back when i'm done? i think we're being scammed.
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+1
5:22PM on 10/03/2011
While I am not for passing along costs to the consumer, I completely diagree with getting rid of 3D altogether. I am sure that many of you don't like it and that's fine, just go to the regular 2D showing. But there are a lot of people out there that like it. My 5 year old love going to animated 3D movies and as long as I am footing the bill for it, what do you care? In any case, this 2D versus 3D discussion is tired.
While I am not for passing along costs to the consumer, I completely diagree with getting rid of 3D altogether. I am sure that many of you don't like it and that's fine, just go to the regular 2D showing. But there are a lot of people out there that like it. My 5 year old love going to animated 3D movies and as long as I am footing the bill for it, what do you care? In any case, this 2D versus 3D discussion is tired.
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5:13PM on 10/03/2011
Now the studios want to talk business-to-business? FUCK 3D! Why dont you discuss the borderline criminal profit "sharing" that is keeping the theaters down in the first place.
Now the studios want to talk business-to-business? FUCK 3D! Why dont you discuss the borderline criminal profit "sharing" that is keeping the theaters down in the first place.
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+8
4:09PM on 10/03/2011
In the UK the consumer ALREADY has to pay for the 3D glasses themselves. But we do get to keep them, meaning if you have your own pair you don't have to pay again. And apart from the fact that most 3D films sucks, it does alright this way.
In the UK the consumer ALREADY has to pay for the 3D glasses themselves. But we do get to keep them, meaning if you have your own pair you don't have to pay again. And apart from the fact that most 3D films sucks, it does alright this way.
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+0
3:57PM on 10/03/2011
DEATH BLOOWWW! When someone tries to blow you UP! Not because of who you are, but because of different reasons all togethaa...
DEATH BLOOWWW! When someone tries to blow you UP! Not because of who you are, but because of different reasons all togethaa...
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+6
3:40PM on 10/03/2011
I'm surprised James Cameron and his big 3D boner haven't popped up to comment on this issue.
I'm surprised James Cameron and his big 3D boner haven't popped up to comment on this issue.
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11:38PM on 10/03/2011
haha...boner...popped up
haha...boner...popped up
-1
3:37PM on 10/03/2011
They are really doing their best to F-up 3D... I mean think of all the problems the studios/theaters have needlessly introduced which have hurt the format (premium ticket price, paying for glasses, brightness issues)... But in spite of all of that people still enjoy 3D movies, they are still going to them, they are still the highest grossing films by large margins.
Imagine how strong the format would be if they DIDN'T f&%k it all up with stupid policy.
And as another poster said, if 3D goes
They are really doing their best to F-up 3D... I mean think of all the problems the studios/theaters have needlessly introduced which have hurt the format (premium ticket price, paying for glasses, brightness issues)... But in spite of all of that people still enjoy 3D movies, they are still going to them, they are still the highest grossing films by large margins.
Imagine how strong the format would be if they DIDN'T f&%k it all up with stupid policy.
And as another poster said, if 3D goes you may as well take the entire theater experience with it becuase there won't be much reason to go to the movies anymore. The 2D experience isn't anything fantastic (they still can't project 2D films at correct brightness levels, let alone 3D films!)
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2:15PM on 10/03/2011
the less 3d movies the better. unless a movie is filmed in 3-d i will not see it in 3-d and even then 3-d really adds nothing IMO. it's a discussion i've had with other people and often they disagree.
the less 3d movies the better. unless a movie is filmed in 3-d i will not see it in 3-d and even then 3-d really adds nothing IMO. it's a discussion i've had with other people and often they disagree.
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2:04PM on 10/03/2011
Some day we won't need glasses to watch 3D.
Some day we won't need glasses to watch 3D.
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2:06PM on 10/03/2011
very true. Just look at the new Nintendo handheld, no glasses required.

Also Samsung, Sony and some other companies have shown glasses-less 3DTV's at tech events in the past couple of years (they're in the prototype stages)

I don't see why at some point they couldn't invent some sort of 3D glasses-less projector for theatres
very true. Just look at the new Nintendo handheld, no glasses required.

Also Samsung, Sony and some other companies have shown glasses-less 3DTV's at tech events in the past couple of years (they're in the prototype stages)

I don't see why at some point they couldn't invent some sort of 3D glasses-less projector for theatres
2:01PM on 10/03/2011
3D shouldve never gotten to where it is. It shouldve been used for movies like Piranha
3D shouldve never gotten to where it is. It shouldve been used for movies like Piranha
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1:51PM on 10/03/2011

what you guys dont realize is that..

if they take away 3d totally, then theaters will go belly up.

They've invested so much into this and taken out huge loans that it would destroy them.

And as to WP's comment..IMAX has a washing machine installed in all theatesr with imax. Its a very annoying process. However, I do agree that theaters should start selling 3d glasses and just lowering 3d films.
if they take away 3d totally, then theaters will go belly up.

They've invested so much into this and taken out huge loans that it would destroy them.

And as to WP's comment..IMAX has a washing machine installed in all theatesr with imax. Its a very annoying process. However, I do agree that theaters should start selling 3d glasses and just lowering 3d films.
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2:05PM on 10/03/2011
an annoying process? to whom, the movie theatre employee?

lets face it, they work at a movie theatre, putting plastic glasses in a washing machine is not that big of a deal and is not something that would make the job too difficult/too demanding because it's one of the easiest jobs a person can get anyway. Every theatre should have the washing machine or my other option I listed below, there's really no excuse for anything different
an annoying process? to whom, the movie theatre employee?

lets face it, they work at a movie theatre, putting plastic glasses in a washing machine is not that big of a deal and is not something that would make the job too difficult/too demanding because it's one of the easiest jobs a person can get anyway. Every theatre should have the washing machine or my other option I listed below, there's really no excuse for anything different
1:23PM on 10/03/2011

Let's just stop going to 3D movies all together

and then none of this bullshit would be relevant.
and then none of this bullshit would be relevant.
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1:23PM on 10/03/2011
Theaters COULD just take the hit and bite the bullet, but that would mean that they would have to settle for making a little bit less money than they do, which they'll refuse. I hate that if, say, they make 5 million dollars profit in a year, they go above and beyond (and piss people off) to hike rates or upcharge because 4.9 million the next year is absolutely abhorant to them. They need to suck it up and do what WE want, not what they think they need to turn an extra buck.
Theaters COULD just take the hit and bite the bullet, but that would mean that they would have to settle for making a little bit less money than they do, which they'll refuse. I hate that if, say, they make 5 million dollars profit in a year, they go above and beyond (and piss people off) to hike rates or upcharge because 4.9 million the next year is absolutely abhorant to them. They need to suck it up and do what WE want, not what they think they need to turn an extra buck.
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1:27PM on 10/03/2011
I think theatres understand how much they're already fucking customers with current prices. It would be suicide to raise them yet again.
I think theatres understand how much they're already fucking customers with current prices. It would be suicide to raise them yet again.
-1
12:44PM on 10/03/2011

THEATRES NEED TO STOP BEING IDIOTS

there are two options THAT BENEFIT EVERYONE (the studio, the theatre, the consumer and it would even contribute to the whole 'going green' thing)

a) implement some sort of washing machine for the glasses, a simpler method could even work and it really isn't that much work for the employee. This is already done in many theatres, including all IMAX's, there is no reason other theatres couldn't implement something like this.

b) don't give out glasses anymore, just sell them at the concession
there are two options THAT BENEFIT EVERYONE (the studio, the theatre, the consumer and it would even contribute to the whole 'going green' thing)

a) implement some sort of washing machine for the glasses, a simpler method could even work and it really isn't that much work for the employee. This is already done in many theatres, including all IMAX's, there is no reason other theatres couldn't implement something like this.

b) don't give out glasses anymore, just sell them at the concession stand for $3 or $4 and allow the purchaser to TAKE HOME AND REUSE in future trips

either of these options would work extremely well and benefit everyone and then some. I'm glad Sony put their foot down because now a decision is being forced, and the two best options are the ones above -- both of which benefit the studio (they don't have to pay for the glasses anymore), the theatre (they don't have to pay for the glasses if they sell them, or will only have to pay a small amount if they wash them instead of throwing them away/recycling them everytime and buying new ones), the consumer (in the end saving money as they wouldn't be charged as much as the cost for the theatre would be lessened as money is saved by washing and reusing the glasses OR they would only have to buy a pair once with option B) and the planet (obviously, less being thrown away/recylced and in turn less being made as they are being either reused or kept by the viewer) in the long run.

This is NOT Sony's fault, as either of these two options above are decisions that need to be made BY THE THEATRE, and either of these options work better than the previous business model, whatever blame comes should be PLACED ON THE THEATRE for being so idiotic/stubborn.
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6:16PM on 10/03/2011
what's with the negative votes?

The only reason I can figure anything I said getting a negative reaction is if some greedy prick working for the theatres thumbed it down... well either that or the usual, played out 'fuck 3d!' people are just trolling again (we get it, you don't like 3D, so just don't watch it/click on the articles!)
what's with the negative votes?

The only reason I can figure anything I said getting a negative reaction is if some greedy prick working for the theatres thumbed it down... well either that or the usual, played out 'fuck 3d!' people are just trolling again (we get it, you don't like 3D, so just don't watch it/click on the articles!)
12:44PM on 10/03/2011
How ironic. Another battle of NATO vs China. Is that historical deja vu or what?

As for this whole debate, I say take away the screens and the glasses with instead using something like [link]features Now that would make for an interesting movie experience.
How ironic. Another battle of NATO vs China. Is that historical deja vu or what?

As for this whole debate, I say take away the screens and the glasses with instead using something like [link]features Now that would make for an interesting movie experience.
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1:12PM on 10/03/2011
Sony is from Japan...
Sony is from Japan...
1:25PM on 10/03/2011
Chinese, Japanese, Dirty Knees...
Chinese, Japanese, Dirty Knees...
2:58PM on 10/03/2011
I'll bet the glasses are made in China.
I'll bet the glasses are made in China.
3:14PM on 10/03/2011
@blsnychapter - yes they are, anyone who doesn't know that is an idiot.

@Bojac - douchebagese? Yep.

@Deadly Sinner - hmm... interesting, could be true, would be something if it were and there was some behind the scenes politics for money behind this...
@blsnychapter - yes they are, anyone who doesn't know that is an idiot.

@Bojac - douchebagese? Yep.

@Deadly Sinner - hmm... interesting, could be true, would be something if it were and there was some behind the scenes politics for money behind this...
+3
12:40PM on 10/03/2011

If this keeps going...

3D will slowly fade away into obscurity. I love watching this disaster unfold from the sidelines. It's probably how Palpatine felt when he watched the Republic crumble after setting all of the events in motion. When Sony decided to stop paying for the glasses, Theaters are now turning away from the complaints of the consumers to focus their heat on Sony. Sony (realizing the threat) raises it's fist and will now go into battle with NATO and any theater chain who has anything to say about it.
3D will slowly fade away into obscurity. I love watching this disaster unfold from the sidelines. It's probably how Palpatine felt when he watched the Republic crumble after setting all of the events in motion. When Sony decided to stop paying for the glasses, Theaters are now turning away from the complaints of the consumers to focus their heat on Sony. Sony (realizing the threat) raises it's fist and will now go into battle with NATO and any theater chain who has anything to say about it. Personally, I think it's fantastic as war and competition are always profitable in the end. Literally. Let's see 3D finally come to an end within the next couple of years!!!
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11:44AM on 10/03/2011

I've got a better idea...

Wipe out the entire fucking idea altogether. 3D is not worth the time and resources. Give people the choice to have it at home under controllable conditions but eliminate it from theatres. Period.
Wipe out the entire fucking idea altogether. 3D is not worth the time and resources. Give people the choice to have it at home under controllable conditions but eliminate it from theatres. Period.
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12:52PM on 10/03/2011
A-FUCKING-MEN dude!
A-FUCKING-MEN dude!
12:56PM on 10/03/2011
Totally disagree, 3D movies are BEST viewed in the theatre because 3DTV's are too expensive, and if normal people even bought one they'd be too small to get the full experience anyway.

I hope theatre 3D stays, and I believe it will.
Totally disagree, 3D movies are BEST viewed in the theatre because 3DTV's are too expensive, and if normal people even bought one they'd be too small to get the full experience anyway.

I hope theatre 3D stays, and I believe it will.
1:26PM on 10/03/2011
Are you serious WP? You must have an amazing theatre cause I've seen 4 different 3D movies in the last 2 years in different theatres and they all looked like shit. Other than AVATAR, I've yet to see one decent 3D film. 3DTV's are better because the owner can control the settings of the TV and environment to best suit their requirements.
Are you serious WP? You must have an amazing theatre cause I've seen 4 different 3D movies in the last 2 years in different theatres and they all looked like shit. Other than AVATAR, I've yet to see one decent 3D film. 3DTV's are better because the owner can control the settings of the TV and environment to best suit their requirements.
1:59PM on 10/03/2011
@Elder - yeah, the one's I've seen have looked great aside from one of them which was in a cheaper theatre. I saw Avatar, Dark of the Moon and Kung Fu Panda 2 in IMAX 3D and they were all mind blowing, as for the regular theatre I saw DOTM, Avatar and Green Lantern there and they all looked fantastic as well. It all depends on the theatre and how cheap they are with the bulbs, which need to be BRIGHT to get the full 3D experience, not only for actual brightness but for the full 3D effect as
@Elder - yeah, the one's I've seen have looked great aside from one of them which was in a cheaper theatre. I saw Avatar, Dark of the Moon and Kung Fu Panda 2 in IMAX 3D and they were all mind blowing, as for the regular theatre I saw DOTM, Avatar and Green Lantern there and they all looked fantastic as well. It all depends on the theatre and how cheap they are with the bulbs, which need to be BRIGHT to get the full 3D experience, not only for actual brightness but for the full 3D effect as well, a lot of theatres didn't do this until recently when Cameron, Bay and various studios sent out public requests to theatres to show 3D movies how they were meant to be shown to their fullest potential instead of doing what they did after Avatar came out (they thought it would be a great idea to save money on the bulbs by turning them down, thus lessening the experience but making money) I saw a couple movies like that that sucked in 3D, the last one though was Gulliver's Travels.

Every movie since has had phenomenal 3D in the theatre.

I mean I'm not saying 3DTV's are bad at all, it's just they're too expensive right now and even if I saved up money to afford one I couldn't buy a big enough TV to satisfy and reach the full potential of the 3D (you need a screen big enough that it covers your whole view range, like a theatre does at least for the best experience)

that's why theatres are most definitely the way to go, until big 3DTV's/projectors become very affordable (it'll happen eventually)
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