Sony Said to Pay Cinemas for 3-D Glasses for 'Men in Black' Film
Sony Corp. (6758), retreating from a fight with major U.S. cinemas, is footing the bill for 3-D glasses ahead of today's opening of the film "Men in Black 3," a person with knowledge of the situation said.
The payments by Culver City, California-based Sony Pictures don't resolve the issue of who will pay in the future, said the person, who declined to comment publicly on the matter.
"Without affecting consumer access to our upcoming 3-D pictures, we continue discussing this matter with the exhibition community while working towards a long-term solution that addresses our concerns about embracing a more sustainable eyewear model," Sony said in an e-mailed statement. "Our position has not changed: it is not our intent to indefinitely subsidize 3-D eyewear."
"Men in Black," starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, is Sony's first big summer release and will be followed by the studio's 3-D feature "The Amazing Spider-Man" on July 3. The conflict over 3-D glasses began in September, when Sony said it would stop paying for the glasses starting with "Men in Black."
Officials at Regal Entertainment Group (RGC), AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (AMC) and Cinemark Holdings Inc. (CNK), the largest U.S. theater chains, didn't respond to requests for comment.
When 3-D arrived, major cinemas agreed to pay a 50-cents- per-ticket fee to RealD Inc. (RLD), their technology supplier, while studios would foot the 40-cent tab for glasses, Eric Wold, a B. Riley & Co. analyst in San Francisco, said last week.
Sony fell as much as 4.4 percent to 1,056 yen, the lowest since August 1980, and traded at 1,073 yen as of 10:28 a.m. in Tokyo. Regal Entertainment Group, the largest U.S. movie exhibitor, fell 0.3 percent to $14.33 in New York yesterday, while Cinemark gained 1.1 percent to $23.70.
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