There's no real reason for 3D discs to be significantly more expensive than their 2D counterparts. It's greed, pure and simple. And, in the theatrical market, that's doing as much to harm 3D as anything else.
We're not asked to pay extra for any other movie innovation -- color is the same price as B&W, stereo and surround sound is the same price as mono or silent, widescreen is no more expensive than 1.37:1. But somehow, magically, we're supposed to pay more for 3D? I get that studios may have spent some more money on making movies in 3D, and that exhibitors may have spent more money buying new projection equipment. But that's the name of the game, having to pay for new equipment and new technology. The problem was that box office admissions were declining. 3D was supposed to be the solution, but not by charging more per ticket, but just by being a cinematic wonder that drew people out of their houses back to the theater, to see something they couldn't get at home, something truly spectacular. I had no objection to some of the fees, especially at first, when it was a "new" thing. But by this point in time, theatrically, there's no excuse for a $5 surcharge. In my opinion, it should be the same price as 2D, provided you bring your own glasses. (A lot of people may not realize that, despite the recycle notices posted at theaters, RealD glasses are yours to keep after the movie. RealD makes its money selling the glasses to the theater, and they sell -- not rent -- them to you. If you return the glasses, the theater just sells them back to RealD, who clean them and repackage them and sell them back. IMAX glasses are technically loaners, so it's understandable that an IMAX theater would want them back, but I feel theaters are taking advantage these days with the RealD specs. They profit from them twice, first when they sell them to you, and then again when they sell them back to RealD.) And since IMAX charges a surcharge anyway regardless of whether or not its 3D, I think they could probably stand to drop the extra 3D surcharge that they add for 3D and still do okay. If you don't bring your glasses, then sure, charge a dollar to loan out a pair or something, but adding $5 or more to the price at this point is crazy.
(An IMAX movie in NYC has just gone up to $22. Which means I could have pre-ordered the new "Transformers" movie on Blu-ray for less than the price of seeing the same movie in theaters. How long before people start doing that with everything? No matter how cool or how big the IMAX screen is, where's that line in the sand where people will say, nevermind, I'll see it at home for less?)
I wonder if, for example, Digital Surround Sound would have caught on at home and in theaters if they charged more for it. You'd probably go and check it out when it was new, but then you'd spend far too much time paying attention to just that part of the movie, and mentally deciding if each extra sound added up to being worth the extra $5 (or more) you paid to experience it. Could anything live up to that kind of scrutiny? Maybe you'd get people leaving theaters the same as they do now, saying things like, "Yeah, the movie was really good, but the surround sound didn't add anything to it.. save the couple bucks and see it in stereo." But we don't do that, because we understand that surround sound is just one of many components that make up a movie.
In my opinion, the continued growth and survival of 3D is dependent on it being recognized as an important artistic component to films. But for the most part, what's coming out in 3D lately doesn't have 3D used in ways that could be described as important or artistic or even as a real component to the film. And if the 3D doesn't contribute to the movie and is an afterthought to raise prices, for how long will people pay higher prices for something that doesn't add to the experience? The studios have brought that on themselves by following up the spectacular, "you have to see it in theaters" spectacle of "Avatar" with the poor cash grab conversions of "Alice In Wonderland" and "Clash Of The Titans" immediately ahead. Just as "Avatar" was starting a legitimate conversation among filmgoers about films that truly needed to be seen in 3D, those two came out almost immediately after with a message of "nah, doesn't really matter if you see it in 3D, we just want your extra money". And I think audiences noticed and got that message, meaning that almost from the start of this 3D revival, people were asking themselves "is this worth extra money" instead of just being able to watch a movie.