The switch from 35mm film projectors to digital projectors in the world's cinemas continues apace as they jump on the digital 3D box office bandwagon, despite the fact digital projection can cost up to three times that of the 35mm alternative. According to the director of one theatre Down Under, the advent of digital 2D and 3D projection marks "the biggest technological change in 90 years" - since the introduction of sound.

State Cinema's Mark Christensen, an executive member of the New Zealand Motion Picture Exhibitors Association, points out that approximately 12 per cent of cinema-screens worldwide have now converted to digital projectors, significantly representing "critical mass".

"One of the advantages of digital is that we will be able to present to moviegoers what is effectively an exact replica of a movie's studio master," he adds to the Nelson Mail, noting that 35mm release prints are several generations removed from the studio master – and degrade in quality with each copy.

Christensen concludes that James Cameron's Avatar is breaking the mould for 3D: "It's the first 3D movie that's come out with the whole intention of using 3D to enhance realism, not to have things coming at you".