Despite its confidence that the 48 frame per second format applied in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will be the next big thing, Warner Bros. Pictures has decided to have a small-scale release for the High-Frame-Rate movie. Variety reports that the HFR version of the first "Hobbit" movie will open in select locations, which are not even in major cities.
Insiders tell the site that Warners "wants to protect the format by going into a limited release for the HFR version." The action is taken to test the marketplace and if it's successful, the studio will expand release for the 48-frames version of the second and third "Hobbit" films. Still, there is no report about which theaters that will play the said version.
For now, it is said that there are still no cinemas ready to screen the HFR format. Though so, some of them have required a software update that will be available for usage in September. Despite the condition, Warners is pleased with the effort to ready theaters for the HFR projection.
Back in April, director Peter Jackson introduced the 48fps format of "The Hobbit" at CinemaCon, but unfortunately it drew mixed reactions. However, Variety states that the HFR version of the film has now been polished and it looks "vastly better" than the test footage shown in the Las Vegas event.
The first installment of the "Hobbit" film franchise, which has recently been designed as a trilogy, will make its way out onto the U.S. cinemas on December 14. Its follow-up, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again", will be released nationwide on December 13. 2013. As for "The Hobbit 3", it's still hasn't got a release date, but is expected to hit cinemas in summer 2014.