High-frame-rate version of ‘The Hobbit’ will only see a limited release

The high-frame-rate version of the first Hobbit film will see a very limited release, and may not even make it to all major US cities, Variety reports. The 48fps test footage of the movie was not entirely well received by film critics at its first showing, but director Peter Jackson has stood by his decision to film at a higher frame rate. According to Variety,those who have seen the 48fps version since its initial showing — at which point the film had not yet finished post-production polishing — claim that it looks “vastly better.”

Warner Bros. studio plans to test the market with a limited release of the high-frame-rate version of the film, and then hopes to expand the releases for the second and third movies. The Hobbit will be converted down to 24fps for the majority of theaters, using motion blur to minimize choppiness. There’s no word yet on which cities will be part of this limited release, but an official announcement will certainly come before the film hits theaters in four months.

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