Dolby Atmos LogoDolby Laboratories sent a press release today that might rank among the least surprising press releases ever. Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” will resoundingly ring out at its world premiere in Dolby Atmos. Some of here at TORn are big fans of the Atmos sound experience with its ceiling mounted speakers that allows sound engineers the ability to create a sound landscape, a step beyond surround systems.

Thranduil, King of the Wood-elves.
Thranduil, King of the Wood-elves.
If you want to find a Dolby Atmos theater, you can just CLICK HERE and find one near you. If you live in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota or South Dakota, enjoy your road trip.

Most people go to films and are happy just to make it through previews, “clever” ways to tell viewers to shut their phones off and then watch Dolby’s promotion for what audiences are about to hear. But being the movie nerds we are around here, some of us celebrate motion picture sound and the chance to be further transported out of the theater and into a three dimensional auditory experience. No surprise, Peter Jackson embraces new technology and never misses a chance to tell the most vibrant story possible. So, just as with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” DOS will have the newest, best sound experience at the premiere and select theaters.

For those readers who aren’t sound nerds, Atmos allows technicians to create sounds anywhere in the theater, not just where speakers are. This sounds too good to be true, and we can’t explain it here, but in the right theater you can listen carefully to the Radagast sequence where he is dashing through the undergrowth and spiders crawl on his house to appreciate it. You will hear it. Anyway, this is great news even if it surprised nobody. Not paid anything by Dolby (but hey Dolby, feel free) I intentionally seek out the Atmos theater in my city whenever possible.

Dolby also has this page dedicated to Atmos and AUJ if you want to do a little home work. And below is a video of director Guillermo del Toro talking about the sound. Below that, the full press release from today.

Director Guillermo del Toro talks about Dolby Atmos from Dolby Laboratories on Vimeo.


San Francisco, November 27, 2013—Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB) and Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, and the second installment in the Hobbit film trilogy, will hold its worldwide premiere at the Dolby Theatre® in Dolby® 3D and Dolby Atmos™ on Monday, December 2, 2013. Dolby Atmos unleashes the potential of sound in storytelling by giving filmmakers the creative freedom to easily place or move sounds anywhere in the movie theatre to create a lifelike cinema sound experience.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was presented in Dolby Atmos. It opened up so many possibilities in terms of using sound for storytelling and delivered an experience so realistic, we knew it had to be a part of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” explained Dolby Atmos rerecording mixer Gilbert Lake. Lake continued, “The goal of the sound team is to make audiences believe they are on the journey through Middle-Earth with Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and the dwarves. Dolby Atmos delivers a soundscape so realistic, you can practically feel the swoosh of an arrow flying by your face or the fiery breath of a dragon over your shoulder.”

Academy Award® winning trio Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, and Michael Semanick (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) return to helm the sound mix with Academy Award winning rerecording mixer Gary Summers and acclaimed rerecording mixer Gilbert Lake, who recently completed the Dolby Atmos version at Park Road Post Production in New Zealand.

“We can’t wait to see what Peter Jackson and his masterful sound team do with the expanded capabilities of Dolby Atmos for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” said Doug Darrow, Senior Vice President, Cinema, Dolby Laboratories. “Dolby Atmos is a paradigm shift from traditional channel-based approaches like 5.1, 7.1, and 11.1 as you are no longer just watching a movie, but experiencing it. Hobbit fans are in for a real treat with the upcoming release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Dolby Atmos.”

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, will be released in the United States on Friday, December 13, 2013, by Warner Bros. Pictures.

About Dolby Atmos

Dolby Laboratories is equipping the cinema world with its new Dolby Atmos technology, the only object-based cinema sound platform available today. Dolby Atmos unleashes the potential of sound in storytelling by providing sound experts the creative freedom to easily place or move specific sounds anywhere in the movie theatre, not just where there happen to be speakers. The result is what moviegoers have described as the most engaging and lifelike cinema sound experience ever.

Introduced in April 2012, Dolby Atmos has been embraced by all the major Hollywood studios, six Academy Award® winning directors, and 11 Academy Award winning sound mixers, among others. More than 400 Dolby Atmos screens have been installed or committed to in 33 countries with more than 100 exhibitor partners. More than 85 films from 10 different countries—representing a broad range of genres from action thrillers and animated features to comedy and horror—have been or are scheduled to be released with Dolby Atmos sound since the first film debuted in June 2012.

Dolby Atmos has received technical achievement awards from both the Hollywood Post Alliance and the Cinema Audio Society. As the inventors of the only object-based audio format used in the cinema today, Dolby is working closely with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers in driving adoption of standards for object-based audio.

For the latest list of Dolby Atmos titles and to find a Dolby Atmos theatre, visit To learn more about Dolby Atmos, visit

About Dolby 3D

Dolby 3D delivers an efficient and flexible solution designed to provide audiences with a superior 3D experience. Dolby’s 3D solution uses a unique full-spectrum color-filter technology that provides realistic color reproduction and extremely sharp images. Additionally, Dolby’s passive 3D glasses provide a premium 3D experience with enhanced performance and comfort, and reusable glasses that are environmentally friendly.

About The Hobbit Trilogy

New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) present The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second installment in the Hobbit film trilogy from filmmaker Peter Jackson, the Academy Award winning director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The screenplay for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner, and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins, and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and the first and third films of the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released on December 14, 2012; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, will be released on December 13, 2013; and the third film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is slated for December 17, 2014.

About Dolby Laboratories

Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB) creates audio, video, and voice technologies that transform entertainment and communications in mobile devices, at the cinema, at home, and at work. For nearly 50 years, sight and sound experiences have become more vibrant, clear, and meaningful in Dolby. For more information, please visit

Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. Dolby Atmos is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories. “Academy Award®” is a trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. S13/27497 DLB-G