Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) movie studio will reportedly stop paying for 3-D glasses next May just ahead of some of its big summertime releases, a price that may ultimately be fed to the consumer and lift already-costly ticket prices.
The warning was voiced in a letter to theaters owners, according to a report by the Associated Press, citing a person familiar with the matter. The move comes as studios struggle to keep up sales amid falling DVD sales and weak consumer demand that has weighed on attendance.
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The studio is set to release a few 3-D blockbusters this spring, including “Men in Black III.”
It’s not clear how theaters would make up for the lost funds, but one approach would be passing the cost to consumers, which would increase ticket prices for 3-D movies that are already more expensive than regular 2-D flicks.
Average ticket prices in the U.S. and Canada rose 6% to $7.89 last year, but prices in major cities sometimes double the average, according to the Associated Press citing data from Hollywood.com.
Box office revenue teetered on the brink of a drop last year as attendance continued to fall amid a still weak economy. So far this year attendance is down about 6% and revenue slumped 4%, according to that data.