Why You'll Be Paying Twice to See 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'

Posted 2:27 PM August 8th, 2012 by Binh Ngo
The Hobbit

According to Variety, Warner Bros will release the first Hobbit movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in the standard 24 frames-per-second format even though the movie was shot at 48 fps.

The reason for the move, as the article explained, is twofold. One, as of now, most theaters are not equipped to show the movie in the higher frame rates, although they may be able to later either through a software upgrade to their existing projectors or by replacing the deficient projectors entirely.

The second reason is that WB wants to move slowly with the introduction of the higher frame rate because the studio fears the potential backlash due to the new technology.

When WB screened a 10-minute clip of the movie in 48 fps at Cinema-Con back in April of this year, the response from those in attendance was decidedly on the negative side. While some praised the potential of the new format, most seemed shocked by the clarity of the footage, likening it to a hi-def TV show.

Probably fearing more negative press, the studio didn't show the Hobbit footage at the higher frame rate at Comic Con as well.

With so much money invested in the three Hobbit movies, it's understandable the studio wants to be careful with something that can potentially harm their earning potential.

Because of these reasons, the first movie will only be shown in the new format at select locations, which may not include all major cities.

So, unless there's a change in plan, the majority of us will see the first movie in the standard 24 fps. No doubt WB will re-release An Unexpected Journey in the new format at some point, perhaps before the release of the second movie, and fans of the series will happily pay a second time to catch it as it is meant to be seen.

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Binh previously worked with Senh Duong on RottenTomatoes.com as its Editor-in-Chief. They reteam for the sequel which promises more action, more laughs, and more drama.

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