Slovene exhibitor faced with 3D problem

By Matevz Rudolf

    Slovene exhibitor Kolosej kinematogafi has stopped screenings of James Cameron's blockbuster Avatar due to problems with the contract to rent 3D glasses.

    Kolosej kinematogafi (www.kolosej.si) was unable to extend the agreement with Slovenian distributor Continental film (www.continentalfilm.si) of Hollywood studio Fox (www.foxstudios.com) regarding rental of 3D glasses.

    Tjaša Smrekar from Kolosej's public relations explained, "The studio demanded that we change the way of payment of renting 3D glasses. The reason lies in problem that we use XpanD technology (www.xpandcinema.com). Major Hollywood studios are forcing us to use the specific technology; otherwise they demand part of payment of renting 3D glasses. In contrast, if were using the "proper supplier" for example RealD glasses (www.reald.com), the studio would even subsidize us in amount of one American dollar, but now we have to pay them this amount." The conflict over technology adds to the cost of screenings for the exhibitor, but the distributors reguse to allow supplemental charges for cinema tickets.

    Kolosej's viewers had to pay one Euro extra for renting 3D glasses for which they received extra bill next to cinema ticket bill. Because of the conflict, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is not on program in Kolosej Kinematografi, which owns the main multiplexes in Slovenia's capital city Ljubljana where approximately half of the cinema tickets are sold in Slovenia. Thus, the film will not have distribution in Ljubljana. The stalemate will also inhibits screenings of How to Train Your Dragon, Clash of the Titans and Shrek Forever After on Kolosej's screen.

    Andrej Novak from distribution company Karantanija Cinemas (www.karantanijacinemas.si) stated, "The distributor has to respect the studio's decision. In our case the Paramount decided, that they won't allowed anywhere on the world that XpanD would demand one extra Euro from viewers for renting glasses. The same decision was made by Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Since we cannot offer 3D release of movies to Kolosej under this kind of condition, we at least wanted to offer 2D copies of the movies, but Kolosej refuse to show 2D version of film if we don't supply them with 3D copies as well. The same situation exists in Kolosej's multiplex in Serbia."