Digital projectors are likely to complete their take-over as the technology of choice for modern cinemas by next year, according to new research, consigning 35mm film prints to only very specialist markets.

A report into the matter has been published by IHS Screen Direct, which analyses trends in digital media, and has said that movie studios are likely to stop producing 35mm prints for the major markets – including the US, the UK, France, Japan and Australia – by the end of 2013. The report predicts that the celluloid reels will gradually be phased out in the rest of the world by 2015.

The picture quality of digital projectors and the increase frame-rate that they are capable of has meant that their popularity has surged in recent years, particularly as the technology has become more accessible. The technology has also brought down the cost of film making, while the use of film has only increased due to the rising price of silver.

Silver crystals are needed to coat traditional film and to define the image after exposure, but the price of silver has shot up in recent years from $5 per ounce to as much as $28 per ounce. ‘