Sony’s warning that it will stop subsidizing 3D glasses is “bluster over substance,” Lazard Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett says today. He’s struck that the National Association of Theatre Owners is vigorously opposing the idea while he’s heard no word — publicly or privately — about whether Warner Bros or Paramount might back Sony. “With theaters united and studios split, we see little chance of a studio victory,” Crockett says. What’s more, there’s “little chance” that consumers will be “stuck with big extra charges.” He raises the possibility of a compromise in which theaters would benefit from lower-cost distribution for the glasses, while studios reduce their payments — now at about 50 cents a pair — and consumers kick in about 25 cents a pair. “But even that seems unlikely,” he says. The analyst has a “buy” recommendation on Cinemark and National CineMedia but is “neutral” on Regal Entertainment.
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