Premieres of The Desolation of Smaug for the rest of us — Can you make HFR plans?

936040_595014123867530_270540699_n Seeing the ads at left all over the place this week, I went to the webpage of the theater conglomerate of my choice, figuring I’d scout out where I was going to see the film. I am almost certain I will go to the midnight showing / premiere, and am now quite certain — barring catastrophe — I will be in Wisconsin. The only real question for me is: Will I see it in the cinema near my home town, or will I, as I did last year, drive to one of the state’s two largest cities?

Perry was discussing this a while back — which format would she see? She has a lot of choices, living where she does. Enviable. Last year, the runup to the purchase of the premiere tickets was a real pain — it was difficult to find out which theaters would be projecting the film in the format one wanted to see and a number of us had frustrating experiences contacting cinemas for reliable information. I’d like to link to Jas’ excellent discussion of this problem from last year but she seems to have passworded her blog. TORn actually put together a wiki (I think it was them, anyway) where fans listed all the places that reported plans to show the film in Jackson’s native 48 fps (HFR) format. And finally, a week ahead of the open sales date, I got a message from my purveyor of choice stating where I could see it.

I read a bunch of news coverage this summer about how the distributor and theater chains were admitting that they hadn’t been prepared for the format themselves (something fans had been frustrated about ahead of time last year) nor done enough to guide audiences toward the new formats and so on. They were going to do better! I’d also read in multiple places that tickets go on sale in the U.S. November 21st. So when I saw the “week ahead message” I thought, “Huh, I’ll check it out so I know where to get the tickets.” I figured everything would be better this year.

I waited quite a while for the answer, which was essentially, look at the website. I wrote back to say I wanted a ticket to the premiere in the correct format so I wanted to be able to access the correct page immediately, the second that sales opened. This was the message I got back:

Thank you for your follow-up.  The film department is hoping to have tickets on sale next week Thursday or Friday – but that is not finalized.  They are still negotiating contracts with the distributor, so unfortunately I do not have a finalized list of HFR locations.

Really? They’re hoping to have the tickets on sale the day the tickets are on sale?

Servetus sighs. And gets ready to start regular refreshes of the conglomerate’s webpage.

~ by Servetus on November 16, 2013.

32 Responses to “Premieres of The Desolation of Smaug for the rest of us — Can you make HFR plans?”

  1. Tickets already on sale here for the HFR version. I haven’t booked because I don’t know which showing I’ll be able to go to as yet, but seems straight forward…hope all becomes clearer for you.

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  2. Just going to see it in our local theatre which now has 3D capabilities and not worrying about the HFR. Saw it last year in HFR 3D and was not blown away. And with the need to economize, will save the gas money needed to drive to Prattville . . .

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    • I’m really hoping that there will be one HFR theater in the cinema next to my hometown — so I don’t have to make the long drive and rent a hotel room … which might actually tear the deal for me, since I also wasn’t incredibly impressed by HFR. It’s probably a pleasure that can wait if necessary.

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      • I actually felt like I took in a lot more detail watching in HD/Bluray here at home than I did at that HFR 3D—maybe it was just sensory overload, but not “sold” on it yet. Our local multiplex is getting more and more state of the art (the only movie theater in a tri-county area) and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they offer HFR this year, too. So if it’s available in town, fine—and if not, I can live with that, too.

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      • I feel the same way. I checked what formats were playing where in my area for AUJ and saw that the same theater that had the fan event showed it last year in IMAX3D, IMAX and standard ( 35mm). I assume, but couldn’t tell, whether any of the Imax ones were in 48FPS. I will say that I liked the 3D when I saw it in the trailer but I’ll probably select the first viewing for IMAX and hope it’s 48FPS. I’m thinking I will go to a morning show the day after the opening. On the other hand it’s possible that it will be also be playing at the theater a block away from me, which has real 3D. Both theaters have reserved seating for IMAx and 3 D, so maybe I’ll break down and go to the midnight show for the first viewing in 3D and the morning show for IMaX. Overall, I plan to see all formats. quickly.
        What difference does it make anyway- for the first viewing, I probably won’t be able to concentrate on anything but Thorin.
        Tickets on sale 11/21.

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  3. Hoping to catch a showing in HFR this time around. Our local (very small town) theater has just upgraded to the new 4D movie experience so I think my chances are better than last year.
    I did go to the midnight movie last year but, man, did I pay for it on Friday. This year the first time I see it will be Saturday with everyone, spouse, 14,8 and 6. We’ve watched the movie many times, read the book, watched the previews and the the younger girls are all in…so we’ll make it a matinee, non-3D, leaving mom plenty of excuses err options for seeing it again.

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  4. i have now seen THAUJ in all formats available to me: 2D, 3D, 3D HFR, and dvd. I loved the 3D HFR effect! It seemed very lush and painterly–and definitely had depth to the images. Perhaps I engaged with that format so well because my double vision aided the 3D glasses. Ha! And I traveled to meet up with an RA gal pal and saw THAUJ with her–which made the train trip even more worth it!

    I don’t know yet if one of our megaplexes in my middling sized city (125K) will pop for the HFR or not for THDofS. If not, I’ll see it in 3D in my hometown, then train it to the “big” city for the HFR–and maybe meet up with my gal pal again if she’s willing. I suggested to my hubby that we could make an anniversary trip of the train ride to see THDofS, but he’s a homebody and doesn’t like to travel. Besides, I don’t think my hubby could take my squeeeeing. Ha!

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    • I agree. Thought the 3D HFR provided a lot more detail and a clearer image, But to be fair, by the time I got around to seeing that version of THAUJ, I had seen it in other formats more than five, but less than ten times. I would hope I would notice more details by then. Having lost track of how many times I’ve see it in a theater, Hmmm, I might have a problem.

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      • Kathy, I think when you haven’t seen a film more than you have fingers and toes, then you’re doing alright. Ha!
        I’m watching my dvd copy of the Extended Edition THAUJ this weekend. Can’t wait! Cheers! Grati ;->

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  5. I don’t do 3-D (I really, *really* don’t do 3-D), so my viewing options are always determined by where I can be sure to avoid it. Ideally I’ll be catching the midnight showing on the largest screen in town — 70′ x 30′. That ought to do it.

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  6. I don’t do 3D either. Visually I have a problem with that and economically I don’t like the cost. I’ll just go see it as I did the first. I didn’t really care what form it was in, I just saw the first showing at the my local theater on the day it came out.

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  7. I’m not very good with 3D, I tend to get nauseous… but I’m hoping to see it in 48 fps 😀 Serv, if you’re going to be in WI a while, maybe we should try to connect! I’m “just” in MI. You’ve got my email – (making slightly inaccurate telephone gesture with hand) get in touch if you’ll have time!!

    Is there some way we could arrange for fan meetups to see this film? Perhaps even some sort of central location (in the middle somewhere) for a Midwest/East Coast/Southerly Gals cheap hotel meetup/Hobbit/wine-and-snacks-and-oops-more-wine-and-hey-it’s-a-party thing? Hmmmm. I think I’ll post this to my blog and see if there’s interest. Sorry, thinking out loud.

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  8. Oh. And I’m really arguing with myself – I’ve got a chance to go see the film early for a slightly (ok, lots) higher ticket price, with the money going to charity – except I don’t really have the money. :} So I think the theater will be ready on time. Not sure about “early”. 😉

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  9. I’ve got my “theater conglomerate” (a small one though) bookmarked and on constant refresh as well. Midnight Dec 12, and Friday the 13th (yep) still do not show up on their site, but scheduled dates thereafter for other films do. *sigh* And now we know Richard will not be in the Hell-Ay for the Premiere, but in Spain, which really would affect where I buy advanced tickets because I personally can’t handle crowds and mayhem like that. But for those who were hoping (Perry?), I’m sorry for your sake.

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    • Crystal, the LA world premiere is December 2, so I see no reason why Armitage won’t be there- I feel sure he will be.

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      • Ah…I confused it with “our” access to the movie completely. My apologies.

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        • No apologies necessary.I just didn’ t want you to be blue for no reason.

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          • Personally I cannot be one of the lucky few attending the premiere. I cannot handle the crowds and the entire scenario. This is just me and my own issue. I really wish I could. I will be so very happy sitting in a dark theater, along with others, and enjoying the movie on late Thursday night/early Friday morn, if I can swing it. 🙂

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            • I wouldn’t do it either unless I had a ticket and could go right in. But I am hoping they stream it live. That’s what they did in Wellington last year and those that saw it said it was a great experience.

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              • I so enjoyed it. What a blast.

                So…The Grove? I haven’t been there to have a look-see yet. Can’t imagine Caruso would go through all that (insurance, other hassles/issues) unless it were big. And a Premiere like DoS is big. I guessed The Chinese, but I must be wrong, I think.

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                • i thought they announced the location, but I admit, I haven’t been following the details.

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                  • No, it’s not. And I just saw this which confirms it’s not, but there is something there that’s related:

                    http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2013/11/15/82476-follow-up-the-groves-dwarven-makeover-is-not-for-the-premiere-but-for-something-equally-cool/

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                    • According to Seeing Stars website, it will be at the the Chinese. You are not wrong.

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                    • Well, it’s just that I can’t imagine it being at the El Capitan (across the street from the Chinese), which is probably booked from here on in with Disney’s own goods. And, to be honest, The Chinese is LA’s finest, grandest, oldest movie palace outside of Downtown and it always screams Hollywood Premiere. IF any premiere were to take place at the Los Angeles Theatre, an aging-yet-magnificent movie palace in Downtown LA, I would be hammering down the door fighting to get in, despite the crowds or the odds. But Downtown no longer has any luster and people fear it, so that won’t happen anytime soon. All other theaters are either multiplexes boxes or too pedestrian for Hollywood to consider holding grand premieres at. The Chinese is a fine theater and sound system, but the El Capitan almost beats it out for me because it has a grand submerged Wurlizter Pipe Organ. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen and heard such a thing.

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  10. My first priority will be to find a cinema which shows the film in English, which unfortunately was not so easy last year. Eventually I drove an hour to a significantly smaller (!) town, as the two big cinemas over here only showed the dubbed version. And this in turn answers the question 3D/2D and HFR, as I’m pretty sure they’ll show the film in 3D with a normal frame rate. (Ugh, spiders in 3D, I’m already scared…)

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  11. I think I will redo last year. Our small town has 3-D and I was ok no migraine, I took meds before. Saturday afternoon, the boys have Civil Air Patrol Wreaths Across America in the morning. Then in afternoon with hopefully there cousin we will go to the movie, I told them we would met to do it again in a year. Son3’s birthday party on Sunday. Then over the holiday break from school to see it 2-D with maybe son2’s best friend, if he is home over the break.

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  12. […] the frame rate question this time around, although we were really occupied by it two years ago (and even last year). Here’s TORn’s guide to the different possibilities. I just looked at my ticket […]

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