‘The Hobbit’ In 48 FPS Will Only Have A Limited Release

The 48 frames per-second revolution has been postponed.

A new report from Variety claims that Warner Bros. has chosen a limited release for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” at the higher frame rate. What was once supposed to change the movie-going experience has effectively been relegated to a test run.

The trade reported, “According to source familiar with Warner’s release plans for Peter Jackson’s first ’Hobbit,’ the HFR version will go out to only select locations, perhaps not even into all major cities.”

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This is surely bad news for director Peter Jackson, who has championed the technology since deciding to film his now three-part fantasy saga in the format. After a preview screening at CinemaCon earlier this year, scathing reports about the image quality spread quickly across the web, and theater owners were supposedly equally underwhelmed.

Some who have seen footage projected at 48 fps more recently have claimed the post-production polish has improved the experience, but that hasn’t stopped WB from continuing with the limited release.

The new report says that depending on how the first “Hobbit” performs may determine whether a wider release will happen at later date and how the studio proceeds for the final two films.

It comes down to more than the image, however. Variety reports that no theaters are currently equipped to present the film in at higher frame rate. The theater owner, who have just spent large sums of money upgrading to 3-D, would have to shell out even more dough for new software and even new projectors in some cases.

Are you still going to seek out “The Hobbit” in 48 fps? Let us know what you think in the comments below and on Twitter!