3D cinema is a 'three-legged stool operation', requiring co-operation from not only exhibitors and distributors, but consumers as well, delegates at Cinema Expo in Amsterdam were told.
Ann Marie Dumais, SVP at Nielsen PreView, said that the faster exhibitors and distributors took on board 3D cinema, the quicker consumers will eventually adopt it.
'The lines are blurring between home theatre and real theatres,' she said.
'Homes are starting to catch up with the theatre experience - they're getting bigger, screen sizes are increasing and simultaneously there are more choices available, including digital, cable and DVD. Even surround-sound is starting to rival what is offered in the cinema.'
A survey conducted by Nielsen found that currently one in every four cinema-goers have stopped going to the movies due to a drop in quality and an increase in prices.
Dumais suggested that while moving to 3D is expensive and takes time as it means moving to digital, it could be the 'saving voice' for cinema and can offer audiences something different than it has done in the past. She even compared it to the earlier transition of black and white to colour.
Based on analysis in the US - which accounts for 80% of 3D installation in the world - Nielsen found that 5% of people in the US didn't even realise 3D existed, despite having been around for nearly a century. A further 35% were aware of 3D but chose not to go while 60% were aware and attended.
She urged for increased awareness and education in the medium, saying that there are 4,000 current or planned 3D installations to date.
JP Morgan forecasts that there will be 7,000 3D installations by 2010, marking a 10% increase in attendance along with a $3.50 increase in ticket prices, which would translate to a 60% increase in revenue.
Later, at the Paramount Pictures International product presentation, Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks Animation hailed 3D as the 'greatest tool for moviegoers in the past 70 years' before showing audiences a few scenes from the upcoming Monsters Vs Aliens animation, shown in Real D 3D.
Audiences responded positively to it and the entire PPI show reel, which also included scenes from the upcoming 2D Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, released later this year, in addition to PPI's 2009 line-up, which includes Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, JJ Abrams' adaptation of Star Trek, Michael Bay's Transformers sequel and Zach Snyder's Watchmen.
A screening of new Ben Stiller comedy Tropic Thunder was later shown to audiences with a positive reaction - one exhibitor claimed the film was one of the most exciting and original comedies of the past few years.