Theaters Will Not Charge Extra for 48fps Showings of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

     August 22, 2012


While most of the news concerning director Peter Jackson’s decision to shoot and exhibit his adaptation of The Hobbit in 48 frames-per-second has been met with a rather mixed reception, here’s something that everyone can be happy with: theaters will not charge more for 48fps showings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  Granted, Jackson and Warner Bros. have opted to exhibit An Unexpected Journey in the 48fps format in only a few limited theaters across the country, but hopefully this signals that other 48fps showings in the near future won’t come with an upcharge.  Hit the jump for more.

peter-jackson-the-hobbitVariety reports that U.S. exhibitors have agreed not to charge more for 48fps showtimes when the first in Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy hits theaters this December.  The format debuted at CinemaCon—a convention for theater owners and exhibitors—earlier this year and was met with a rather cold reception.  The high frame rate provides an effect similar to that of a 120hz HD TV, removing motion blur and giving the action a more fluid and realistic feel.

Jackson wasn’t exactly thrilled with the reaction, and when he screened over 12 minutes of footage from the film at Comic-Con this summer, he opted not to display the scenes in 48fps.  Then just a few weeks ago came word that An Unexpected Journey would be getting a very limited release in the 48fps format.  If those showings are successful, the plan is to expand the 48fps showings on the two subsequent installments of The Hobbit in December 2013 and December 2014.  It’s worth noting, though, that Jackson shot The Hobbit in 3D so many of these 48fps showings will likely already carry the 3D upcharge.

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  • IllusionOfLife

    Honestly I think it’s just a matter of not having a good way to market it in order to have people “get” why they’re having to pay more money. Us film geeks understand frames per second, but Lowest-common-denominator Bob is won’t understand why he’s having to pay more money because it’s not as easy a concept to explain as “it’s on a bigger screen” or “the pictures pop out at you (and sometimes they don’t).”

  • Scurvy

    Oh, I don’t think people will have a problem seeing the difference, it’s just that they don’t want to have to deal with the people who will come out complaining about how they paid extra for a movie that looks fake.

    I paid extra to see a movie where it looks like people standing in front of a set instead of in the set?

    • IllusionOfLife

      I’m not talking about *seeing* the difference, I’m sure anyone who sees the film at 48fps will be able to tell the difference. I’m talking about *marketing* the difference. How do you explain to people who don’t know or care how film actually works that having more pictures on the screen every second is worth three extra dollars?

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