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Lord of the Rings Movies Entertainment

The Hobbit's Higher Frame Rate To Cost Theater Operators 710

Posted by samzenpus
from the playing-catch-up dept.
kodiaktau writes "Film makers keep touting increased frame per second rate as improving viewing and cinema experience, however the number of theaters who actually have the equipment that can play the higher rate film is limited. It makes me wonder if this is in the real interest of creating a better experience and art, or if it is a ploy by the media manufacturers to sell more expensive equipment and drive ticket prices up. From the article: 'Warner Bros. showed 10 minutes of 3D footage from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at 48 frames per second at CinemaCon earlier this year, and Jackson said in a videotaped message there that he hoped his movie could be played in 48fps in “as many cinemas as possible” when it opens in December. But exhibitors must pay the cost of the additional equipment, and some have wondered how much of a ticket premium they would charge to offset that cost.'"
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The Hobbit's Higher Frame Rate To Cost Theater Operators

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  • Classic 2D is best (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TedTschopp (244839) on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:20PM (#40360889) Homepage

    I think a classic book like the Hobbit should be available in classic 2D.

    Then again, I can't see most 3D theater experiences.

  • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:20PM (#40360899) Homepage

    There have always been niche premium formats: 70mm, IMax, etc. The ones that are really valuable commodities spread, the rest remain niche, with niche content providers creating for them.

    For a real niche, look at Planetarium productions.

  • choices (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:24PM (#40360957) Journal

    As long as 24 fps is still available somewhere at current prices, I don't really see the problem. Let people who care pay the extra money for the higher framerate. If there are enough to make it profitable, the technique will continue. If not, it won't. In the meantime, I can decline to participate. It's all good.

    Currently, given a 2D or 3D version of a film, we choose the 2D version. I don't begrudge the people who want to pay extra to see a blurry gimmicky image. That is their choice, and welcome to it.

  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnonGCB (1398517) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [smaps7]> on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:27PM (#40361007)

    You mean studios will finally be able to pan at a reasonable speed without it looking jittery and fucking terrible?

    24 fps is terrible and you should feel bad for propping up a dying standard.

  • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Korin43 (881732) on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:27PM (#40361029) Homepage

    This brings up an interesting point -- will I be able to see this in 48 fps *without* gimmicky 3D?

  • by Lord Lode (1290856) on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:34PM (#40361113)

    This is the second (if not more) article on /. complaining about the high framerate in this movie.

    Yes, we should have lower FPS! Let's render it with a Riva TNT card!

  • Re:In other news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:36PM (#40361161)

    Increasing the frame rate will make it look like a home video?

    Yes. Home video was traditionally 50 or 60 fields per second. Movies have always been 24 frames per second, so we've been brought up to think that stuttering motion looks "cinematic".

    This is probably the reason why some TV shows and music videos intentionally slow down the frame rate when they want to crank up the drama.

  • Re:In other news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:38PM (#40361187)

    We know that frame rates under 60fps look poor, and under 30fps look absolutely terrible. It has nothing to do with art, other than film not being a suitable medium for recording moving subjects due to the unacceptably low frame-rate.

  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMMaster (527904) <> on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:44PM (#40361299)

    A director is free to add motion blur to his picture in post, if it's for 'artistic reasons' you can do whatever you want.

    Just don't go and tell me that the blurryness in the fight scenes of 'the dark knight' where an artistic statement...

  • by mrnick (108356) on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:46PM (#40361339) Homepage

    The theaters make very little, if any, from ticket sales. They make all their money in concessions. So, if a theater has to buy expensive equipment it will be passed onto the consumer through concessions increases.

  • by NatasRevol (731260) on Monday June 18, 2012 @01:58PM (#40361493) Journal


  • by Picass0 (147474) on Monday June 18, 2012 @02:16PM (#40361731) Homepage Journal

    So far there is only a short term demand - two films, Hobbit 1 & 2. And while The Hobbit(s) are a sure fire hit, theaters keep roughly 15-20% of a ticket sale. That's not very much scratch to help pay for a new projector. The rest goes to the distributor and studio. (The concession stand is the only pure profit section of a movie theater, which is why the price of Mike and Ikes is so damn high.)

    People forget one of the reasons Avatar made so much money is it sat in many theaters for 36 weeks. There wasn't much content available for all of the newly upgraded IMAX screens. How to Train Your Dragon was the only film competing for the same screens. It's unlikely The Hobbit films will have such an extended run. They will have a shorter window to justify the expensive upgrades to the theater.

    The safe bet for most theaters will be to run the 24 FPS version.

  • Re:choices (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jensend (71114) on Monday June 18, 2012 @02:17PM (#40361751)

    The refresh rate on a CRT and the frame rate of a movie have almost nothing in common. Your eyes can tell, somewhat painfully, that they're only getting 60 strobes of light per second with darkness the rest of the time. They can't tell that they're getting only 48 frame changes per second, especially with normal motion blur.

    No study I'm aware of has ever shown people successfully distinguishing >40fps with proper motion blur from any higher framerate. Indeed, I've seen studies that showed very little difference in perceived quality between 30fps non-blurred frames and much higher framerates.

    People on /. keep acting as though "48fps is good enough" is like "640k should be good enough." There's a vast difference here; human perception has very definite limitations.

  • Re:Awesome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by omnichad (1198475) on Monday June 18, 2012 @02:17PM (#40361767) Homepage

    There's a bit of gimmick in Pirates. For completely gimmick-free 3D film, try Hugo. Not in theaters anymore, though, but is on 3D Blu-Ray.

  • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday June 18, 2012 @02:20PM (#40361803)
    The only way I'd go to a theatre is if they invented a device that would get people to STFU while the movie is playing.
  • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Monday June 18, 2012 @02:23PM (#40361839) Homepage Journal

    I knew it! Theater managers are one-eyed pirates with wooden legs!

    Nah, that's only when they charge you $10 for a bucket of popcorn and 32 oz cup of fizzy sugar water.

  • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CubicleZombie (2590497) on Monday June 18, 2012 @02:30PM (#40361927)
    Seriously? It looked like it was filmed in 2D and the 3D effects were added as an afterthought. Objects all looked flat but the scenes were separated into 3D planes. I'm pretty sure the two scenes you mentioned were the only ones actually filmed with a 3D camera.

    I liked the story but wish I'd gone to the 2D theater. As opposed to Avatar, where I liked the 3D but the story was disappointing.

    And NOT worth $32 for two tickets. More for IMAX. More for 42fps, someday. They're just guaranteeing that I'll wait for it to come out on Netflix.

    Oh, public service announcement: DO NOT TAKE YOUR PREGNANT WIFE TO SEE PROMETHEUS. Don't ask me why. Just trust me and don't do it.
  • Re:choices (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcelrath (8027) on Monday June 18, 2012 @02:41PM (#40362073) Homepage

    Bullfucking shit. When the exploding car is on the left side of the screen in one frame, in the middle in the next and on the right side in the 3rd frame, and all of them are blurry, I CAN SEE IT. It's a fuzzy mess and the brain will not piece it together. I don't give a shit about your worthless studies, because I have two of my own embedded in my skull.

    The fact of the matter is that most viewers aren't sophisticated enough to know about various kinds of video artifacts. Doesn't mean they can't see it, it just means that they are either used to it, or don't have the vocabulary or experience to identify it. Asking unsophisticated viewers is useless. If you increase the frame rate, in the short run everyone will either not notice or think it looks weird, but in the long run everyone will love it and think older 24fps looks weird, and they won't be able to tell you why. And it will have its largest impact on action movies with fast motion. You can do a similar thing with audio: most people can't tell you whether one recording sounds better than another. But if you show them what MP3 recording artifacts sound like, suddenly they'll notice it all over the place.

  • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crazyjj (2598719) * on Monday June 18, 2012 @02:54PM (#40362237)

    Not only have the ticket and food prices gotten complety INSANE, but the last time I went I also got the benefit of sitting through about 30 minutes (seriously, not an exaggeration) of Coke commercials, car commercials, and trailers which were mostly completely unrelated to the style of movie I was seeing.

    Pretty much avoid theaters now. Had enough, thanks.

  • Re:Awesome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hackula (2596247) on Monday June 18, 2012 @03:03PM (#40362361)
    Wow, so another article bitching about nothing? What a shock!
  • Re:In other news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Monday June 18, 2012 @03:04PM (#40362365)

    Higher frame rates are inevitable; we're just going to have to get used to them. Everything you cite with respect to the LotR scene is purely psychological conditioning in action. The transition to 48 FPS may be jarring and harmful to suspension of disbelief at first, but it still needs to happen, because 24 FPS sucks ass.

    If we had always seen films at 48 FPS and someone came around suggesting that they would look better or more "cinematic" in 24 FPS, we'd laugh them out of the room.

  • Re:Awesome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Evtim (1022085) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @01:08AM (#40366723)

    Ha....Americans, you have it all easy and still complaining! Let me do you the calculation for Amsterdam.

    14 Euro for ticket IMAX 3D
    4 Euro public transport (the weather sucked so no bicycle)
    5 Euro - popcorn + Cola

    So how much did we spend with my wife for a single movie - yep, almost 50 often we do this - once or twice per year. Used to be tens of times per year.

    I am eagerly awaiting the law that will make spending money on entertainment obligatory. Create public stigma to help along. "What, you did not spend money on the latest bulshit content? You terrorist or something?"

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming