In order to help convince theater owners that upgrading their projectors to handle motion pictures lensed at 48 frames per second, Peter Jackson screened roughly 10 minutes of his upcoming epic “The Hobbit” for a select group of individuals at this year’s CinemaCon. Unfortunately for Jackson and the suits over at Warner Bros., the reception to the filmmaker’s latest bid-budget adventure was less than stellar.
According to The Wrap, both theater owners and film bloggers were less than impressed with the footage Jackson made available during the screening, some of which was missing key special effects work. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that many individuals in attendance claimed the footage looked too crisp, too lifelike. Instead of looking like a full-bodied motion picture, a few people thought it looked more like a poorly-conceived stage play. I’m sure this isn’t the sort of feedback Jackson and his cohorts were hoping to receive from the event.
Some of the screened 3D footage included moments with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Gollum (Andy Serkis), and a few battle sequences involving giant trolls and the like.
In a pre-recorded introduction — the director is currently hard at work editing all the pieces together in New Zealand — Jackson explained that upping the frame rate from 24 to 48 frames per second would make for a richer, more believable experience. He also claims that the higher rate would help with 3D, making the footage easier for movie-goers to digest.
“The movement feels more real, it feels smoother,” Jackson explained in the segment. He also noted that the screened footage was a “work in progress.”
The presentation, which is geared towards exhibitors, also included some early footage from Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” and Adam Shankman’s “Rock of Ages”.
At present, there are roughly 4,000 screens in North America that have projectors capable of screening movies that were filmed at 48fps. Warner Bros. is hoping to increase that number by leaps and bounds by the time Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” arrives on December 14th, 2012.