Peter Jackson has been vocal about his decision to film The Hobbit at 48 frames per second, with the director claiming it offers smoother, more natural motion free from artifacts like strobing. It seems that he may have a tough time getting audiences on his side, however — a ten-minute preview of the upcoming movie screened at CinemaCon 2012 provoked a host of strong, frequently negative reactions to the change in framerate. The LA Times reported that a projectionist from a rival studio was unimpressed, saying that "It looked like a made-for-TV movie. It was too accurate -- too clear. The contrast ratio isn't there yet -- everything looked either too bright or black." Attendees also took to Twitter to voice their thoughts:
Saw ten minutes of Hobbit in 48fps 3D. Very exciting, but I'm now very unsure about higher framerates. 48fps feature films will likely divide moviegoers -- I expect to see stronger hate, more so than 3D #CinemaCon— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) April 24, 2012
Great Scott, THE HOBBIT in 48 frames-per-second is a thing to behold. Totally different experience. Not all will like the change.— Josh Dickey (@Variety_JLD) April 24, 2012
Saw 10 min of THE HOBBIT in 48fps. It's def a drastic change from 24fps and many are not going to be on board with it. #thehobbit— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) April 24, 2012
While some viewers were impressed with the filming technique, all were in agreement that the visual change is very significant and that audiences may well be taken aback by 48fps screenings. It's unclear how many theaters will be showing The Hobbit at the higher framerate when the first part, An Unexpected Journey, comes to cinema screens this December, but it sounds like at the very least 48fps will provide a genuinely new viewing experience... for better or worse.