Peter Jackson will definitely present "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" with an all-out high-definition technology, not only for its visuals but also its audio. After confirming the 48 frames per second technology that will be used in the 3D version of the film, Jackson pushes the envelope even further by announcing that the movie will also use the latest sound format, Atmos.
"I strive to make movies that allow the audience to participate in the events onscreen, rather than just watch them unfold," the New Zealand-born director said of his decision. "Wonderful technology is now available to support this goal: high frame rates, 3D, and now the stunning Dolby Atmos system."
Jackson, who first heard the Atmos sound test last spring, went on explaining, "Dolby has always been at the cutting edge of providing cinema audiences with the ultimate sound experience, and they have now surpassed themselves. Dolby Atmos provides the completely immersive sound experience that filmmakers like myself have long dreamed about."
The sound mixing will be done in a new Atmos mixing environment at Jackson's Park Road Post Production in New Zealand. According to The Hollywood Reporter, after "The Hobbit" is finished, Park Road Post aims to bring Atmos capabilities to a second mixing stage, as well as to the company's screening room.
The Atmos-supported version of "The Hobbit" will be screened in only 80 to 100 cinemas across the globe. Recent release which used the technology was Liam Neeson's actioner "Taken 2" in just 15 theaters worldwide. Dolby aims to have at least 1,000 Atmos-ready theaters by the end of 2013.
The first "Hobbit" film will be released in the U.S. on December 14, while its follow-up "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" will open next year on December 13. Its final installment, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" is set to arrive in cinemas on July 18, 2014. Building the anticipation to the release of the first film, Warner Bros. Pictures debuts the first TV spot for the flick that is jam-packed with adventurous scenes.