So many times in Hollywood, some new technology is being hailed as the salvation of the business. First it was the return of 3D. Imax has been doing incredible business these days, especially with success of Gravity. But one technology that apparently isn’t sticking is 48 frames per second.
Peter Jackson was the first to embrace the technology, hailing it as a huge step forward for movies, but it gave audiences major headaches, and made things look too real, to the point where the Hobbit flicks looked like they were shot on videotape. (At the same time, Atmos, the Dolby sound innovation, has gotten much better response with audiences when used on The Hobbit and Gravity.)
As the Hollywood Reporter tells us, Bryan Singer was considering 48 frames a second for X-Men: Days of Future Past, but he “had concerns about how certain sequences would look, and there is also a cost factor in rendering the visual effects.”
At the same time, James Cameron is still considering making his next Avatar movies in either 48 frames, or 60 frames a minute. And Warner Brothers, who are releasing the Hobbit films, is putting a brave face on all this, telling the Reporter, “I think it’s getting better and better. While it certainly was a slow starter, it’s going to be a game-changer.”
The big test will be the Avatar sequels, which could finally make the technology stick. Or perhaps, like 3D, it will be the kind of technology that will only work for certain films, if it indeed works at all. Thankfully, The Hobbit was released in every format imaginable, giving audiences freedom of choice, and the ultimate decision on whether this technology lives or dies will be in the audience’s hands, because they’re the ones voting at the box office.