One of the biggest draws to The Hobbit trilogy is that it was filmed in 48 frames-per-second 3D. This provides the clearest 3D picture possible, by eliminating the blurring that comes with most 24fps 3D movies. Unfortunately after snarky and cynical critics who like to hate everything attacked the format after seeing early footage months ago, Warner has decided to do a very limited 48FPS release of the first Hobbit movie and ramping up the release for the second and third.
But the studio still wants to protect the format by going into a limited release for the HFR version, hoping to test the marketplace and expand the HFR release for the second and third installments — provided auds are enthusiastic. As of now, there are still no theaters ready for HFR projection, though some require only a software upgrade that will be ready in September. Warners is satisfied with the pace of efforts to ready theaters for HFR.
Since Jackson is capturing at 48 frames per second, it actually requires some expense to down-convert it to 24, the frame rate at which most theaters will play it. Filmmakers can’t simply drop every other frame; they must add motion blur or the picture looks choppy.
This means unless you live in a major market like New York, LA, or San Franciso; it’s doubtful you’ll be able to see The Hobbit as it was filmed and intended to be seen.