The frame rate saga of The Hobbit continues, as now it seems the 48 frames-per-second version of the film will only get a limited release. A source familiar with Warner’s release plans told Variety that the high frame-rate version will only be shown in select locations, perhaps not even in every major city.
The controversy began back when it was announced the film would be recorded at higher than the standard 24 FPS. Test footage shown at CinemaCon in April drew mixed reviews, but many said the footage looked absolutely terrible. Supposedly, those who have seen the footage more recently say it’s vastly improved from the unpolished April footage, but fans still have every right to be skeptical.
The limited release at least will provide a choice as to whether the movie has to be seen in the new format, but it sounds like choosing to see it at 48 FPS may not be that feasible of an option. The film is set to hit theaters in December, but there are still no theaters that are ready for HFR footage. That’s right, none.
The change won’t be cheap, so Warner’s only hope is that the limited release goes well, and more audiences express a desire to see the 2nd and 3rd installments in HFR format.
Personally, I’m not going to see The Hobbit for any cinematic innovations. Yes, The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy had some of the most beautiful footage ever, and anything to increase the beauty is definitely welcome, but I (and I assume most fans agree) can’t wait for this movie purely because of its content.
The Hobbit is a phenomenal story, one of my all-time favorite books, and I am excited to see Peter Jackson translate that story into a film, regardless of the frame rate it was shot in. I will definitely give 48 FPS a chance, but I’m not interested in having to drive hours to find a theater that is a part of the limited release.
What do you think of this limited release? Will you make an effort to see The Hobbit in 48 FPS?