The Hobbit Gets Limited Release in 48 FPS

If you want to see The Hobbit projected at 48 frames-per-second, you may have to go on a long journey of your own. The first of the two three films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will get a limited release in the high frame rate (HFR) format, with some major cities likely to miss out entirely. This means that most people who see the film will be watching it down converted to the traditional 24 frames-per-second.

Director Peter Jackson decided to shoot in the high frame rate in order to make the movie sharper and easier to watch in 3D, but many critics who’ve seen early footage complain that it looks more like video than film. If the HFR version of the first movie does well with audiences, the second and third instalments will get a bigger release in the format.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will arrive on December 14, and the second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will follow in December 2013. The third movie has yet to be given a title, and is expected to finish the adventure in summer 2014.