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Dolby Laboratories announced today that the next movie to be released in their new Dolby Atmos™ sound format will be Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Only two movies have been released in the sound format so far, Disney's Brave in June 2012 and Taken 2 earlier this month. A third, Chasing Mavericks, will open on October 26, 2012.
Read more about Dolby Atmos sound format in a previous Journal article titled Next Two Dolby Atmos Releases Announced.
Peter Jackson is no stranger to stretching technology to advance his storytelling goals. Earlier this year, he announced that the movie will be made using 48 frames-per-second technology, which records images at twice the rate that movies are traditionally created. The press release supports this with the following quote from Jackson:
“I strive to make movies that allow the audience to participate in the events onscreen, rather than just watch them unfold. Wonderful technology is now available to support this goal: high frame rates, 3D, and now the stunning Dolby Atmos system,” said Peter Jackson, co-writer, director, and producer of The Hobbit trilogy. “Dolby has always been at the cutting edge of providing cinema audiences with the ultimate sound experience, and they have now surpassed themselves. Dolby Atmos provides the completely immersive sound experience that filmmakers like myself have long dreamed about.”
A big caveat in this announcement is that currently, Dolby only lists 14 commercial movie theaters in the US equipped with Dolby Atmos sound installations. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released in theaters across the US on Friday, December 14th, 2012, so here's hoping that Dolby can get their sound system installed in more theaters by then!
There also is some trepidation about whether many movie theaters will be able to play the movie at 48fps, so finding a movie theater that is presenting the movie with both technologies might be a bit of a stretch. Add to that the fact that some people will prefer to see either the 2D or 3D version, but not the other (depending on their preferences) and you have a scenario which makes it improbable to get the most personally satisfying experience possible. 51 days is a lot of time, so we'll have to keep our eyes on the Showtimes pages for both versions to see what happens! (see the list of movie titles to the right)
Source: Dolby Laboratories Press Release
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