Warner Brothers has been rather vocal in its support of moving to a 48-frame-per-second projection rate that would provide a sharper, higher definition image for theatrical screening of movies. One of their films that was to lead the High Frame Rate charge was Peter Jackson’s formerly-two-and-now-three-part adaption of The Hobbit.
But it looks as if the studio might be hedging their bets somewhat on their HFR push with Variety reporting that Warners will be releasing the HFR version of the first Hobbit installment to a limited number of screens this December.
The Variety report does not state exactly how limited the release will be but it does say that “the HFR version [of first installment of The Hobbit] will go out to only select locations, perhaps not even into all major cities.” They do note that parts two and three will get a wider HFR release depending on
Currently there are no theaters that are set to project the higher frame rate film, but it should be fairly easy to update certain digital projectors through a software update which reportedly will be available in September.
Warner’s initial unveiling of 48-frame-per-second footage at CinemaCon this past April was met with some criticism over the quality of the image even though it had yet to undergo postproduction tweaking. Variety is reporting that fully finished footage in the format looks remarkably better than what was screened last spring. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see for ourselves.