Theaters, at least some of them, where fans can experience The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 48 frames per second (instead of the decades old 24 fps of traditional film) have been announced for Regal Cinemas. The announcement also says that all 48 fps screenings will be in 3D. It is not known if that pertains only to the Regal Cinemas or if that will be universally true. (Editor’s note: I hope not!) Many states are not listed but Regal is not the only theater chain that is updating its projection equipment to show director Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films as they were shot, in 3D at 48 fps. But, when tickets go on sale November 7, Regal, at least for now, has given consumers the best information about how The Hobbit will be displayed, a win for cinema fans.
The post announcing the high frame rate 3D screenings explains (sort of) to potential consumers the reason behind the new technology and Jackson’s efforts to shoot the films in a new way. It is careful to point out that viewers will be able to watch the film in the 24 fps, stating viewers can see it in 2D, 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D and “HFR 3D,” the term it uses for 48 fps screenings. (Most everybody else calls it 48 fps, but perhaps that will be confusing when James Cameron shoots at 60 fps so it is branding a term to cover both.) To read the entire explanation from Regal and to see its cinema listing, click here on a page they title “The Hobbit 48.” (Yes, Regal we are available for branding consultation!) We will post more theater and chain information as it becomes available and more on the technology behind these films in the weeks leading up to its opening. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released in the U.S. December 14 with slight variety for markets around the world. Dolby Atmos, a revolutionary new sound system for theaters is also a possibility for The Hobbit but no details of participating locations are available.