|Production photo courtesy Peter Jackson
Barad-dûr, Middle Earth (December 7, 2012) — December 14th’s release of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit marks the first time during the digital cinema age that a movie will be shown in such a wide range of formats. In addition to screening at 24 frames per second (fps) in 35mm and digital 2D, the film will also screen in digital 3D at 24fps in both REALD and Dolby 3D formats, IMAX digital, and IMAX 15 performation/70mm (15/70) film. There will also be a limited number of 3D screenings in both digital HFR and IMAX digital HFR, at 48fps.
Because most giant screen digital cinema technology is based on DCI-compliant conventional cinema tech, this will mark the first time since Disney’s Treasure Planet that a major studio film has played day and date with both conventional cinema releases and the IMAX run of the film (Treasure Planet was released in 2002 in both the 8/70 and 15/70 film formats), on both dome and flat screens. InPark Magazine has confirmed that in addition to both IMAX digital and 15/70 runs, The Hobbit will play at a number of non-IMAX institutional giant screen theaters using the same projectors used for giant screen films. These include, but are not limited to, the E&E single 4K projection system at the Kansas Cosmosphere’s Carey Digital Dome Theater, Hutchinson, KS, USA; the Global Immersion dual 4K projection system at the Peoria Riverfront Museum Giant Screen Theater, Peoria, IL, USA; and the D3D Cinema dual 4K projection system at the Putnam Museum’s National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, Davenport, IA, USA. However, no institutional theaters are listed as screening the film in the HFR format.
Digital IMAX theaters will also show an exclusive nine minute preview of the upcoming film Star Trek: Into Darkness prior to each screening of The Hobbit.