The 48 FPS Hobbit to Screen in 450 Theaters

Warner Bros. will be playing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at 48 fps/3-D in 450 screens when it opens Dec. 14.

“450 is a very manageable number for us to make sure the installations are proper and can be checked before the movie plays,” said Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “If the success is what we think it will be, by the second Hobbit we’ll be much wider.”

Fellman adds that the high-frame rate screenings will occur in or near most major and mid-sized cities, and that theaters are not expected to charge additional ticket price premiums beyond the 3-D surcharges.

Director Peter Jackson has shot The Hobbit at the higher frame rate to remove motion blur and to heighten the stereoscopic experience. However, the new technology was met with some resistance at the CinemaCon exhibitors’ convention in Las Vegas in April. The so-called “video look” dampened an otherwise wow factor. Jackson and James Cameron (who will likely shoot the two Avatar sequels at 60 fps) maintain that they can tweak the technology with post finishing tools and other refinements to pull viewers into more hyper-real and immersive worlds. It won’t be like watching a movie anymore: it will be like opening a window, Cameron asserts, stripping away archaic artifice.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Movies, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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