Sony to stop paying for disposable 3D glasses next May

LOS ANGELES

Sony Corp.'s movie studio has put theater owners on notice. The company says it will stop paying millions of dollars per film for disposable 3D glasses starting next May, ahead of the release of Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Men in Black III" in 3D.

It is unclear who will pay for the glasses: theater owners, who are financing the billions of dollars necessary to equip theaters with 3D and digital equipment; advertisers; or even by consumers.

The glasses cost anywhere from 40 cents to a dollar a pair. In Sony's letter to theater owners, the studio suggested theaters could sell the glasses and ask moviegoers to keep them and bring them for the next time they see a 3D film.

Moviegoers already pay an additional couple dollars or more for 3D movie tickets. Analysts say they could be annoyed if they're asked to pay even more during these tough economic times.

At least one rival studio said it is not jumping on the bandwagon. Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc., said it was keeping its current system in place for now, although it wouldn't specify what its deals were with theater companies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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