Four-fifths of the international film community believe mainstream audiences crave more imaginative films, according to a recent survey.

The success of films such as Hugo and The Artist - the first and second most imaginative films survey respondents have seen - have showcased an increasing appetite from mainstream audiences for more imaginative films.

That’s the view of a recent survey, carried out by Bombay Sapphire through Screen International and Empire readers with 3,065 surveyed between March 23-27. In fact, 80% of Screen’s readers agree that there is a lack of imagination in the wake of a remake, sequel and franchise surge in Hollywood.

A similar amount of readers believe that new technology, like transmedia, which enhance the visual experience will lead to more imaginative films in the future, although 59% believe that the funding of imaginative projects from independent producers and young directors has been affected by a cautious film-making environment created by the recession.

Joanna Botwood, Bombay Sapphire, Global Brand Manager said: “Bombay Sapphire commissioned this research to spark the debate around imagination within the film industry and highlight some of the challenges that budding film-makers are facing. We believe imagination is the key ingredient in any creative endeavour and, as such, we are working to understand how we can support the film industry going forward.”

But with The Avengers - Avengers Assemble to our UK readers - The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man among the big films to be released this year, perhaps that imagination might not start to properly kick in until 2013…