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Brits think 3D is a 'gimmick', survey says

British cinemagoers think 3D effects in a film make little or no difference to the experience, a new survey reveals.

British cinemagoers reckon 3D film is a "gimmick" and makes little difference to the quality of a movie, according to a new survey.

Fewer than one in five (19 per cent) of those polled by market research organisation YouGov said that 3D improves the cinema experience, with over double this amount (41 per cent) stating it's just a gimmick -- which might shed light on the slump in 3D cinema sales

Nearly half (49 per cent) of film lovers said 3D effects in a film make no difference at all, or make it worse. And it seems even those for whom money doesn't matter prefer traditional 2D films, with more than a third stating if 3D and 2D films were the same price, they would be much happier to see the latter.

Over a third (36 per cent) think 3D cinema is just for children, which could be due to recent high-grossing 3D blockbusters such as Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Rio, which would tally with the 41 per cent who said 3D films "are not for me".

Perhaps tellingly, a narrow majority of those polled (52 per cent) said they'd be more likely to watch a 3D film if there wasn't a need to wear glasses.

So could the concept of 3D without those pesky specs safeguard the future of 3D cinema? Maybe so, but the integration of 'glasses-free' 3D viewing or auto-stereoscopic technology -- in products such as the Toshiba 55ZL2 -- has so far left much to be desired.

This technology hasn't yet matched the image quality of 3D with specs. In auto-stereoscopic TVs for example, the glasses are replaced by a lenticular lens over the screen, which lowers viewing resolutions and narrows the viewing angle. Even when manufacturers do perfect the art of glasses-free 3D technology, it may be donkey's years before we see it in cinemas.

3D film fans will be pleased to hear that 37 per cent of those surveyed by YouGov do think 3D cinema will still be around in five years' time, so perhaps cinemagoers are just waiting for 3D technology to improve? What do you think? Do you love wearing geeky goggles? Or are you shaking your fists full of popcorn at the screen? Screen your 3D opus in the comments section below, or on our resolutely 2D Facebook page.

Here's a summary of the YouGov Survey findings:

  • Only 19 per cent agree that 3D film improves the cinema experience.
  • Just under half of those polled say they'd be more likely see a film in 3D if it was the same price as the 2D format.
  • Less than a third agreed that 3D is the future of cinema.
  • 49 per cent agreed that the hype about 3D films is a phrase that will pass.
  • Only 1 in 5 agree that going to the cinema is more exciting when the film is in 3D.
  • 41 per cent of those polled said 3D films "are not for me".
  • Over half of people surveyed say they'd be more likely to watch a 3D film at the cinema if you didn't need to wear glasses.