China’s 3D screen buildup has gained momentum — the State Administration of Radio, Film and TV (SARFT) said in January that there were already 2,400 3D screens in China — but the demand for those screens is still trailing supply when a big 3D title comes to town, like “Avatar.” An absence of domestically produced 3D pics means the market is still below potential. April release “Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy,” the world’s first major 3D soft-porn movie, generated a lot of excitement here, although because of the censors, people had to go to Hong Kong or Taiwan to watch it.

“I have to say 3D in China is moving at a slow pace,” says one film insider, citing lack of local expertise in the format, which means that producers must import Hollywood or Korean crews and more expense; lack of equipment (“You can find most of the stuff in China, but none of the suppliers has all of it”); and the lack appropriate and skilled post-production and special effects houses.

“We need more geeks,” he says. And with traditional 2D movies like “Aftershock” and “Let the Bullets Fly” doing well at the box office, “there is no motivation to do them in 3D.”