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The Hobbit’s 48 fps Will Only Appear in Limited Theaters

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“The Hobbit” director Peter Jackson is adamant that 48 frames per second, twice the typical shooting speed, is the future of movies. That future is not quite now, as far as Warner Bros. is concerned.

Variety reports that “The Hobbit” will only be in 48 fps in select markets, possibly not even reaching all major cities.

Footage Jackson showed at CinemaCon drew mixed reviews. He opted for the regular 24 fps view at San Diego Comic-Con, saying he didn’t want the frame speed to be the dominant story. Variety’s sources say the most recent footage looks much better than what we saw in April. That footage hadn’t undergone post-production polishing.

There is also the issue of the equipment many theaters would have to add. Some older projectors aren’t capable of showing high frame rate 3D. Warner will use the limited release as a test to judge moviegoers reactions. Jackson believes the change is inevitable, predicting that everyone will be shooting in 48 fps by 2013.  He may be optimistic about the time frame.

Questions about frame speed aside, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is likely to be one of the Christmas season’s biggest blockbusters. It’s coming our way December 14.

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