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British unconvinced by 3D

A recent poll of 3,000 people in the UK will not have made comfortable reading for those with a vested interest in the success of 3D - with almost half those surveyed believing that the hype would pass.

According to a recent survey by respected UK polling organisation YouGov, 3D may not be the saviour of the movie industry – or possibly the TV industry – that many had believed.

Close to 3,000 adults were surveyed. While 22% felt that 3D improved the cinema experience, 47% said that it either made no difference or made the experience worse. 41% thought that 3D was just a gimmick, and almost half of all respondents said that they would not pay more to see a movie in 3D than to see its 2D equivalent – and around a third said that they would prefer to see the 2D version than the 3D version.

Potentially most worrying for the movie (and TV) industry is that 49% of those polled said that they thought hype about 3D films was a phase that would pass.

On the positive side: over half those questioned said that they would be more likely to watch 3D content if they didn’t have to wear glasses.

The poll raises as many questions as it answers. Was Avatar the biggest-grossing movie of all time because it was in 3D – or was it just a very good (and very well-marketed?) movie? Are the British notoriously unreceptive to anything new? (A survey commissioned by Panasonic in the USA allegedly found that Americans were hugely positive about 3D). And, regardless of consumer sentiment, will 3D prevail because of the huge investment that has been made and the infrastructure that’s already in place?