In the film, this breakfast scene lasts 90 minutes
Most of the directors with a big boner for 3D – James Cameron, Peter Jackson – claim many of the problems people have with 3D – that it’s disorienting, that it’s hard to follow quicker camera movements – can be solved with higher frame rates. But when Peter Jackson debuted some 48 fps footage at CinemaCon (twice the normal 24 fps for film) back in April, the response was, shall we say, mixed. He later declined to show any 48 fps footage at Comic-Con, and now Variety reports that the 48 fps version, at least in the case of part one of Jackson’s now three-part Hobbit series “will go out to only select locations, perhaps not even into all major cities.”
Just don’t let Peter Jackson hear about this, he might try to shoot a whole other version.
According to source familiar with Warner’s release plans for Peter Jackson’s first “Hobbit,” the HFR version will go out to only select locations, perhaps not even into all major cities. People who have seen much of the film in 48 frames-per-second 3D tell Variety the picture now looks vastly better than the test footage shown this April at CinemaCon, which had not yet undergone post-production polishing and got a mixed reception from exhibitors.
In case you’re wondering, yes, “HFR” does seem to stand for “high-frame rate.” Real scientific, there, guys.
But the studio still wants to protect the format by going into a limited release for the HFR version, hoping to test the marketplace and expand the HFR release for the second and third installments — provided auds are enthusiastic. As of now, there are still no theaters ready for HFR projection, though some require only a software upgrade that will be ready in September. Warners is satisfied with the pace of efforts to ready theaters for HFR.
Considering these audiences are people dying to see nine more hours of Hobbitry, yeah, I’m guessing they’re going to be enthusiastic.
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