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Auds push back on 3D upcharges

3D Entertainment Summit

Premium prices for 3D tickets have never been popular. After all, everbody wants more for less.

So it should come as no surprise that a 2010 study done by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed moviegoers may not want to pay extra to see any film that’s available in 3D and that the maximum they’d be willing to pay in upcharges would land around $2 to $3 per ticket, as opposed to the $3 to $5 range that’s levied.

Not every analyst agrees with the prediction, though several are quick to admit the quality of 3D entertainment that’s in theaters will have a great influence on what people are willing to pay for it.

“Audiences will pay the upcharge when the film has a good story and does an excellent job with the 3D,” says Charlotte Jones, senior analyst with IHS Screen Digest. “The problem comes when the story and the 3D aren’t done well and then the person is reluctant to pay more for a 3D ticket the next time.”

Dan Casey, VP with custom market research company Interpret, agrees — but with many of the same caveats.

“If a bad movie is shown in 3D, (the 3D) is not going to make audiences like it more,” says Casey. “It actually puts a little pressure on because you have to be sure it makes sense to show a certain movie in 3D.”

Cinedigm CEO Chris McGurk thinks 3D went through the sorts of growing pains that are common for a new business or technology.

“I think people will continue to pay more for 3D if you give them something worth paying for at the box office,” McGurk says. “People paid to see ‘Avatar’ over and over again because the story and the 3D were good.”

The PWC survey isn’t the first to question 3D upcharges. A Certified Reports survey showed auds liked stereoscopic pics but didn’t want to pay more for them.

Survey was reported in Variety — in August 1953.

Related link:
Costs squeeze 3D TV content

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