With Avatar’s arrival in the UK imminent, ScreenDaily looks at which 3D films have made an impact in the territory.

James Cameron’s science fiction epic Avatar (pictured) reached theatres in the UK on Thursday (December 17), and while it maybe the stand out 3D film from 2009 release schedules, this year has seen the continued rise of 3D’s popularity with the local audience. Nielsen EDI’s latest report on 3D releases in the UK highlights the growth of the sector in terms of outright grosses, 3D percentage gross and release width.

Warner Bros’ Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince leads the way as the highest-grossing 3D release on £50.6m to date in the UK, although the wizard’s adventure 3D element was confining to the opening sequence of the IMAX version, which generated £1.6m or 3.2% of the total gross.

A clearer illustration of the 3D spread is provided by the animations that were released this year. Back in March DreamWork’s Monsters Vs. Aliens took £21.3m with 44% coming from 3D screens, followed by Fox International’s Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs, which from it’s July 1 opening grossed £34.9m, 52% of which was earned on 3D screens. Released on October 9, Walt Disney/Pixar’s Up continued the trend with 3D screen providing 60.5% of the film’s current £34.2m tally.

The widest point of release for 3D films noticeably increased in the second half of the year in the run up to the Avatar launch. Ice Age 3’s 3D screen count stood at 240 on opening, followed by the solely 3D reissue of Pixar’s 1995 classic Toy Story (on 251 3D screens), Up (on 266) and Disney’s A Christmas Carol (281 screens, the largest 3D release to date).