Warner Bros. Talk More About The Decision To Limit HFR Screenings Of THE HOBBIT

While there's still little to no word on where those who live outside of North America will be able to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in the much talked about "HFR" (High Frame Rate) format, Warner Bros. has now commented on why so few locations will be rolling it out stateside.

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By Josh Wilding - 11/15/2012

When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released on December 14th, less than 5% of the 10,000+ North America screens which are showing the movie will make the film available in 48 frames per second (rather than the usual 24 frames). Talking to Deadline, Warner Bros.' Domestic Distribution President Dan Fellman revealed that the decision to limit the release is simply down to a cautious rollout strategy rather than a lack of support from theater owners who have to pay around $5,000 to upgrade their projectors to handle HFR. Apparently, "equipment is being tested" and despite a few glitches along the way, the studio believes that they did the right thing by limiting the release to only most major cities. "This is a technology that is going to change the way people see movies…You have to do it right." Will you be hunting down the movie in HFR?






The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.


STARRING:

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey
Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield
Andy Serkis as Gollum
Hugo Weaving as Elrond
Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug
Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman
Christopher Lee as Saruman the White
Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
Orlando Bloom as Legolas

RELEASE DATE: December 14th, 2012.


Source: Deadline
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19 Comments
scarecrow007 - 11/15/2012, 1:06 PM
I'm seeing it in 48 FPS and then in 24 FPS. I guess it's a smart choice seeing as this is one of the first movies getting released in 48 FPS.
jingorot - 11/15/2012, 1:11 PM
48fps SUCKS... i'll be actively avoiding it.
UnrealLuigi - 11/15/2012, 1:18 PM
Anyone know where I can look up the locations that are playing the Hobbit in HFR?
NoAssemblyReqd - 11/15/2012, 1:27 PM
My understanding is that the effect is similar to Auto Motion Plus on some TVs -- the much ballyhooed "soap opera" effect -- but instead of frames being interpolated and causing distortion, the movie is shot that way. It's controversial because some aspects of filmmaking, like makeup and prosthetics, don't hold up very well under such clarity.
Kaziganthi - 11/15/2012, 1:31 PM
Theonering.net has this list too...not sure if it differs.

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2012/11/07/64780-complete-listing-of-theaters-showing-hobbit-hfr-3d-imax-3d-imax-dolby-atmos/

Danbojohnj - 11/15/2012, 1:31 PM
Just 2 in Britain.
sexfoodcomics - 11/15/2012, 2:00 PM
If you think 48 sucks then your dumb. 24fps is freakign ancient and the only reason it's been kept around is because of no one wanting to spend money to do it correctly. 24fps was conceived cause it was the slowest film had to move to be able to synce sound to it. There's no other reason. 24fps has a terrible judder effect with panning cameras and cases way more motion blur the the human eye would see in real life. 48fps is moving film closer to how the human eye perceives motion. Stuff on film will appear to move smoother with way less motion blur ( sometimes none) and a lot sharper image. The new avatar films will have an even higher frame rate 60fps. People don't like 48 cause they don't like change, even if its more real and accurate. Get used to it. After you watch a bunch of movies in 48 and go back and watch one at 24 you will see how archaic 24fps looks.
VaCubFan - 11/15/2012, 2:05 PM
Is the premise to this point that they are ADDING screens/theaters between now and when the film opens? Closest one to me is about 45min away, but if as Fetastic has noted that they recently added a theater to him that OneRing has not added to their list yet, could one infer that there are more to come?
FoxForce5 - 11/15/2012, 2:30 PM
I will, most definitely, be checking it out in both formats to see the difference but, as I understand it, the 3D is also much cleaner and less stressful on the eyes (and, hence, causes less headaches) when viewed in the 48fps format.
JusticePourTous - 11/15/2012, 2:31 PM
48fps takes quite a bit of getting used to, but once you do it is vastly superior. A little like HD was the first time people saw it. Thats the reason the 15min 48fps previews of the Hobbit have been received badly. It just takes about that long to get used to it.

Trust me, by the end of watching an entire film you will only see the good side. It is so much clearer.
Nomis1800 - 11/15/2012, 2:34 PM
I'm glad I can see the 48 FPS version in the theatre which I was going to anyway. I'm so excited!!!
Facade - 11/15/2012, 2:40 PM
Sadly, I have to drive just over an hour to see it in 48fps...multiple times ;p
DoctorDoak - 11/15/2012, 7:01 PM
@fettastic: Madison? You guys have a lovely zoo!
elessarundomiel2382 - 11/15/2012, 10:07 PM
Will they have HFR overseas? Particularly Australia?
Boekelaar - 11/16/2012, 5:12 AM
I'm going to see it in 24fps first in case 48fps is distracting. I'd hate to have something detract from my experience, afterall I'm going for the story and the adventure not for how it looks.
comicb00kguy - 11/16/2012, 6:38 AM
@SuspenseSmith: Thank you for posting a link to the list of theaters that will be showing this film in 48fps. That was my first question while reading this article: will we get this here? Luckily, one of our theaters in town will be showing the film in this format. I have to say I'm curious enough about it that I would like to see it in 48fps to see if there really is a noticeable difference.

Not too long now till we get to find out!

jingorot - 11/16/2012, 6:44 AM
@sexfoodcomics

yeah, because we go to see hobbit films for "reality". [frick]ing dumb shit.

there's a place for 48fps. middle earth ain't it. it's short-sighted to root for 48fps just because it's more expensive and is 'change' (not all change is good).
TheChameleon - 11/16/2012, 4:07 PM
If this is accurate, according to the 48fps website I will be able to see it in HFR 3-D! Now that's wild!
TheChameleon - 11/16/2012, 4:17 PM
So the question now is I do see it in 24fps, in 3-D, in IMax 3-D or HFR 3-D?

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