'The Hobbit' to debut high-tech projection

Nov. 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- "The Hobbit" movie will bring new technology to U.S. movie audiences by screening at 48 frames per second, twice the rate of traditional films, experts say.

Warner Bros. will become the first studio to release a major Hollywood movie in 48 frames a second when "The Hobbit," by "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson, premieres Dec. 14.

Advocates say Jackson's picture will give audiences a picture that is richer and sharper, but some critics who've seen clips of the film have called it jarringly hyper-realistic and too unlike a traditional film, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Warner Brothers has been running a test reel in hundreds of theaters in the United States and abroad to ensure theaters are ready for the rollout of the new technology.

"When you have something new, you want to make sure it works," Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner, said. "This is unique, it's different and we'll have to see how people adjust to it."

The studio is hedging its bet by showing the high-frame-rate version in only 450 of the 4,000 U.S. and Canadian theaters that will be showing the film.

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