Tickets for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will not cost moviegoers who choose to see the higher frame-rate screenings of Peter Jackson's film more money.
Theaters are not expected to enact a surcharge for the 48 frames per second screenings of "The Hobbit" when it opens nationwide on Dec. 14, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Typically, theaters hike up the price for 3D screenings.
For Jackson, 48 fps is vital in a constantly progressing industry.
“As an industry there is a certain amount of trouble that we are in; kids seem to think watching a movie on an iPad is an okay think to do,” Jackson told THR. “Advocating that we have to stick with what we know [24 fps] I think is a slightly narrow mined way of looking at things when as an industry we are facing declining audiences. We have to find ways to make it more vibrant, more immersive – something that will encourage people to come back to the theaters for that experience.”
Warner Bros., the studio releasing the film, is planning a select release for the high-frame-rate version of "The Hobbit," according to Variety. The studio is pushing a limited release because "The Hobbit" is the first major motion picture to be shot and distributed in 48 fps.
Jackson knows that it will take audiences some time to adjust to the new technology.
"My experience with 48 frames ‑‑ and I've seen hours and hours and hours of it, obviously ‑‑ is that it's something that becomes a real joy to watch, but it takes you a while," Jackson told HuffPost Entertainment at Comic-Con in July. "I'm not worried about, because when this movie comes out and people see it at 48 frames, they're actually going to get the experience that I've had for the last 18 months."
James Cameron is also an advocate and plans to shoot "Avatar 2" in 48-frames, THR previously reported.
However, not all directors are read to jump on the 48 fps bandwagon.
In April, director Ang Lee, who had not seen any footage from "The Hobbit" at the time, told Entertainment Weekly that he is concerned the new format is too much of a good thing.
“I have mixed feelings," he told EW while at CinemaCon. "I don’t think 48-frames solves everything. Each time you solve a problem you can bring in others — because you make the problem look more clear, maybe, ” he said with a laugh. “It takes time. It sounds like a good idea, but I’m a little skeptical.”
Jackson's "The Hobbit" tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit who journeys to the Lonely Mountain, accompanied by Dwarves, to take back treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug. The film stars Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans and narrator Benedict Cumberbatch.