‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’: No Extra Charge for 48 FPS 3D

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The Hobbit Wont Charge Extra for 48 FPS The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: No Extra Charge for 48 FPS 3D

When the first entry in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey, releases in theaters there will be several ways in which audiences can enjoy a return trip to Middle-Earth. The most common will, of course, be the traditional 2D but in addition to that will be two separate 3D runs of the film, projected in either 24 FPS or 48 FPS.

Those that have been keeping up with Jackson’s video blogs for The Hobbit will know that the film’s use of 48 FPS 3D technology is a first for a major studios’ tent pole release, and is intended to usher in a new age of filmmaking. Unfortunately, an early preview of The Hobbit‘s 48 FPS footage didn’t engender the expected awe and wonder, and instead left some viewers dismayed by what they saw.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. has announced they are asking theater owners not to charge a premium for 48 FPS 3D showings of the film. Anyone who has attended a 3D film knows a surcharge is already applied to tickets to accommodate the use of the glasses and for projector maintenance, but since 48 FPS requires a different type of projection we figured an additional charge was likely.

This lack of surcharge, however, won’t affect that many patrons – as Warner Bros. is only planning a limited roll-out for 48 FPS versions of the film. While they wouldn’t assert it themselves, the lack of excitement over the new format has to be a factor in the decision.

With Peter Jackson having already shot a second film, and now in the early stages of planning a third, it’s still possible that either of those releases would carry a premium for the 48 FPS 3D presentation. It all depends on the success of this first film.

Gandalf Wearing 3D Glasses The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: No Extra Charge for 48 FPS 3D

Given the critical and commercial accolades for The Lord of the Rings, it’s a forgone conclusion that these Hobbit films will be successful – it’s just a question of how large their box office take will be. Returning characters like Ian McKellen’s Gandalf, Orlando Bloom’s Legolas, and Elijah Wood’s Frodo (albeit in a smaller capacity) promise a perfect in-road for the uninitiated, and for fans this is likely to be another Tolkien dream come true.

The verdict may still be out on 48 FPS 3D technology, but claims in regards to its clarity have several pioneer filmmakers like James Cameron hopping on board. If there continues to be no surcharge on 48 FPS films while the format works out its kinks, studios might have an easier chance selling audience on its potential.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will hit theaters on December 14, 2012. The second film in the trilogy, There and Back Again, will be out on December 13, 2013. And the untitled third film is said to release in the summer of 2014.

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Source: Variety

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  1. I’m interested to see how this looks since I feel Jackson does have some creative integrity for the most part. It’s just nice to see Warner realize people may not want to be paying Beta testers.

  2. Ok, so basically, we’ll be watching it in 24fps like normal? Since 3D alternates between one eye to the other, 48fps is really 24fps to the eyes… So I guess that will eliminate the “headaches” some people get, which is actually from motion sickness actually due to the lower framerates (effectively 12fps in a 24fps 3D film). This should bring it back to normal… I’m game, I’ll check it out in 48fps. I just hope they don’t go higher than that like these 120Hz tvs, movies look downright TERRIBLE in those high framerates…

    • I’m also curious to experience the 48fps I’ll definately be checking it out. :)

    • The video projector alternately projects right-eye frames and left-eye frames
      with the use of a filter switching between them at 144 times per second,
      higher than the frame rate of the film, thus each eye will see 48 fps.

      • @Robert

        As long as the movie will not look like a soap opera like they do on these new tv’s with that crappy trumotion, clear motion, or whatever they want to call it crap with the higher refresh rates…

        • This probably avoids that effect because the
          the recorded and projected frame rates match.
          However, that does not mean this will look good.
          We willl have to see, Kenneth, when we can see it.

          • @Robert

            Yep, I’m definitely going to check it out…

    • 120hz tv’s? what is this 2004?

      • Um… yah, I forgot that they had the 120Hz LCD’s back in 2004… /sarcasm

    • That would be true, if the 3D-shutter-technique is used, but most cinemas are using the polarisation-technique, where the horizontal resolution is halved (the uneven half of the lines for one eye and the even half for the other), but the 48fps remains. There never was headache causative flickering in the 3D-polarisation-technique.
      They are filming with 4K-cameras, so the horizontal resolution is still 2 times higher than HDTV-resolution (only with a 4K-projector of course).

      • Robert Palmer is right, of course, about the higher switching frames between the eyes (shutter-technique).

  3. I’m still pissed off that they’re only releasing the movie in 48fps in a few select cinemas in the US :(
    I was really looking forward to seeing the new tech.

    • Yes it sucks but at least you won’t be alone since most of us here in the USA are in the same boat :P

      Of course this begs to be asked……do we know yet where these “select” theaters will be?

    • lol so drive to a city

      • Cape Town to New York is about 8000 miles…

        You know, outside of good ‘ol America, there are other countries… with PEOPLE ;) People who like LotR and want to see The Hobbit as it was intended to be seen.

      • I LIVE is a city in the mid-west but the closet “select” theater will most likely be in LA. Sorry but I’m not driving 1000 miles and spend a ton of money just to see a movie. NO movie is worth that price.

        And suck it up Avenger! I’m sure there will be a screening in the UK and you could always drive there.

        • Hahaha!

          • and I’ll have you know Google maps actually found a route from Cape Town to London. :)

            I will only take mere 243 hours to get there. I will let you do the gas math.

        • It is being shown in 48frames in Michigan.

  4. I’ll be watching this at 48 FPS; assuming they release it in a cinema near me. I’ll be mad if they only release it at 48 FPS in the US…

  5. I loved the LOTR Trilogy, and am “ok” on the Hobbit, but if it doesn’t come near me in 48FPS 3D, I likely won’t see it til home video. I’m far more excited to see how it looks that way than to see the movie itself.

    Still a bit disappointing that they push 3D on us so heavily when (anecdotally) people that I know don’t want it for the most part, but will only go limited release with 48 fps.

    Also, perhaps I was confused earlier, but it appears that the 48 fps is 3D only, they’re not showing a 2D version at that framerate as well (or never planned to)?

    • As far as I know the 48FPS is more intented for the 3D experience to give the eyes a more realistic experience and therefore taking out those “headaches” people seem to have with normal 24FPS. I think some places will show the 48FPS in 2D but that’s when the whole “soap opera” image comes into play. With 3D, it offsets that feel and gives your eyes a more natural feel….well, in theory. We won’t really know until we go see it which I hope I will be a part of.

      • so the “soap opera” effect is because they are shot at 30 fps ?

      • alright,good information about this new technology. now,i´ve understand it.

  6. I hope this does not catch on. Prometheus killed what was left in my mind for 3D as it is.

    • seriously?? the 3D in prometheus was easily the best example of the technology we’ve had yet and it looked stunning. more seamless and subtle than avatar. especially compared to that spiderman garbage a few weeks later, obviously ridley scott knows how to use the tech

      • Prometheus 3d was no where near Hugo and avatar

        • Agreed.
          I really don’t see all the hype about Prometheus’ 3D. The only scenes that stood out were the scenes with the cool holographs… for a large part of the film, I could take my glasses off during the movie and just watch it as a 2D film.

    • I loved the 3D in Prometheus

  7. The Rings trilogy still remains to this day, the greatest cinematic trilogy ever and The Hobbit cannot arrive soon enough

    • By cinematic do you mean visuals? Its not my favorite trilogy but that new Zealand landscape is something else.

    • Yes! I absolutely agree with you, Lebsta

    • Agree wholeheartedly, Lebsta. Can’t wait for the return to Middle Earth!

  8. But we are initiated, aren’t we screenrant?

    • Members of the league of ranters

      • The League Of Extraordinary Ranters

  9. i didn´t understand one thing about those 48fps 3d technology,really not.

    • 48fps is twice the industry standard rate of 24fps this frame rate
      which is the speed individual frames pass through the projector.
      The more frames you have the more information is displayed
      translating to more detailed images processed by the brain.

      There is also far less flicker and motion blur which although for
      practical purposes are imperceptible are nonetheless present.

      The jury is still out or should I say not called in yet.
      Test screenings have generated complaints that
      48 fps was too life-like versus standard movies.

      • *24fps, the frame rate*

      • I’m curious to see the difference. I’ve heard that, because it is so “life-like”, you can notice all of the “imperfections” (i.e., false sets) in the scenery, thus detracting, ironically, from the escapism and realism. I would presume Jackson, et al. will obscure some of these “imperfections”…really “perfections”…in the final cut, so as to compensate and make the movie appear more seamless.

        • I am curious to see it myself and I will see this
          eventhough I have little interest in this film itself.

          There is another problem and potentially severe one
          with the movie becoming too life-like which is that
          because it looks so “real” it is harder and maybe
          impossible to suspend disbelief which is the
          fundamental requirement to watch a film.

  10. No worries. I was prepared to pay extra to see it the way the director intended it to be seen :)

  11. I’m glad I don’t have to pay extra, even though I was willing. For this first time anyway, perhaps not indefinitely into the future.

    If they’re doing this as a test run, why don’t they just make 48fps available everywhere? That way they can see if the public really wants it or not, given the choice. Releasing it in such a limited capacity won’t give them a very good idea of how much the public actually wants it.

    • Because for most theaters it will require investing in new equipment. For those who struggled to upgrade just to 3D, I can’t see them investing in such bleeding edge tech that may or may not take off. I don’t even know if the new digital IMAX 3D systems can handle 48FPS out of the box.

      • I can understand what you’re saying, but it seems from reports that WB is actually limiting the release themselves.

        From a previous story on this site: “WB is going to release The Hobbit high frame rate (HFR) theatrical cuts only in select locations” and “The limited release is therefore rationalized as a prudent step to test the market for HFR movies”.

        I’d rather them just let the theatre owners themselves decide if they want to show it in 48fps or not.

        • and I agree with what you’re saying but I am getting the sneaky suspicion they were going to do as you suggested BUT not a whole lot of theaters jumped to upgrade their equipment.

          Better to say you are limiting the release to make it sound like they are in control of a precious commodity rather than admit only a “select” few were willing to take the gamble just for one movie.

          • I see what you mean. Interesting postulation.

            In any case, it’s a shame, since I would have thought that the major city theatres would have at least wanted to upgrade one screen to show it in 48fps, and thereby have one more reason to entice people to try an experience they won’t be able to get at home.

            It’s pretty lame to deprive people outside those select locations of experiencing the movie the way the film maker intended, especially since “more recent screenings of the film in 48 fps have yielded much more positive results, now that Jackson has had a chance to add some post-production polish”.

            If they give the choice to the theatre owners, then the blame goes to them if they don’t upgrade, and the studio looks innocent. Now however, the fans will be upset at the studio people.

  12. Saw the advanced screening. Peter jackson should be ashamed of himself for buying that hack, James Cameron’s bull and screwing this film up. Alson for his assertion that critics of the 3D and 48 frame formats just don’t get it. If i wanted to watch TV i would have stayed home and that’s exactly what this looked like. This is tolkeins story but Peter jackson’s adaption suffers from the same technical self-indulgence that plagued George Lucas. The argument for 3D is that it offers greater immersion into the story, all i’ve gotten was tons of distraction from the story and performances as well as a headache. The 48 frames is meant to offera greater sense of detail and “realism”….realism in a FANTASY FILM. All it seems to offer in this film is so much enhancement in detail that it almost utter destroys any suspension of disbelief you could possibly drum up. To be very clear on this, these technologies should be relegated to the genre and industries in which the work best: Documentaries, sports events and amusment parks. It simply does not do to fog over the obvious gimmick and cash grab with crap like “artist’s intent/ integrity of vision….etc.

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