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48fps preview of 'The Hobbit' gets mixed reaction at CinemaCon

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A ten-minute preview screening of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit at 48 frames per second provoked strong reactions from the audience.

hobbit poster
hobbit poster

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:

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.