'Ice Age 3' at the center of a struggle over 3-D exhibition

Twentieth Century Fox may be facing a potential exhibitor rebellion regarding its upcoming 3-D film Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Tuesday’s news that Fox would no longer pay the $1 million per-picture cost to supply theaters with the 3-D glasses needed to view its product was met with disdain across the exhibition community. “I’m already paying fees to RealD for the systems. I’m paying to put in the silver screens and I’m paying to train employees to run the product,” says one angry exhibitor. “To come in at this point and say they aren’t going to pay for the glasses, yet they want all the upside of the revenue, is ridiculous.”

The situation appears to have gotten so strained that Regal Cinemas, the nation’s largest theater chain, will only play Ice Age 3 on its 2-D screens, according to sources close to the company. Evidently, the glasses were part of a deal worked out long ago, when theater chains started installing the silver screens and digital projectors needed to view 3-D digital cinema, so to go back now and renegotiate after the equipment has been put in place is a difficult proposition.

Calls to AMC Theaters and Cinemark, the second- and third-largest exhibitors, had not been returned at press time, although two sources believe those theater chains will also stand up to Fox’s new demands. Bruce Snyder, Fox’s distribution president, says, “No exhibitor has said
they don’t want to play Ice Age in 3-D. All we are doing is working out the
issues.”

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Comments (3 total) Add your comment
  • R

    Obama should have Tom Rothman removed. After the Watchmen fiasco, Wolverine leaking and now this; he has no business running a major studio. He makes cheap, half-assed movies.

  • leleana

    Wow, AMC and Cinemark are the 2nd and 3rd largest? I’m from Houston, and I’ve never even heard of Regal Cinemas. We do, however, have both AMC and Cinemark…

  • MSR

    Wow, first Fox starts with Rental vs Retail DVDs and now they don’t want to help pay for the cost for 3D glasses so theaters show it? Where’s the incentive for the theaters? Yay for 2D! 3D is overrated at this point anyway.

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