So Regal Cinemas has drawn a line in the sand with 20th Century Fox. The theater chain, in response to Fox reportedly saying it would stop subsidizing 3D glasses, says it will stop showing 3D movies from the studio because it’s already shouldered much of the cost of upgrading the exhibition technology. We would appear to be at a stand-still.
Here’s a free idea for anyone that wants it: Start selling high-quality (the polarized new ones) 3D glasses at shopping mall kiosks, right next to the one selling cellphone accessories. Or put them in teen-targeting clothing retailers. Sell family packs at Target.
Basically take the decision out of both the distributor’s and the exhibitor’s hands. Brand 3D glasses as the hip thing for pre-teens and teens to be seen with. Not wear, of course, since you’re not supposed to wear them outside the theater.
3D is certainly gaining steam. But if you want to see consumer demand for 3D product skyrocket, make the glasses into a fashion item, something that can be personalized and displayed as part of someone’s fashion identity. Not only will you see the lucrative younger demographic chomping at the bit for new 3D movies (and eventually home video that’s in 3D) but you’ll also see theaters and studios stop holding up innovation because someone’s deciding they’re not financially liable for upgrades.