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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Any word on a 4K release?

The Shire

Apr 29, 5:59pm

Post #1 of 4 (1267 views)
Any word on a 4K release? Can't Post

It's about time


May 1, 1:54am

Post #2 of 4 (1114 views)
It's complicated... [In reply to] Can't Post

Although The Hobbit was filmed in 5K, the VFX, colour timing and editing were all finished in 2K, so that creates a problem. There is a higher resolution version, made for IMAX using their proprietary "DMR" up-scaling technology. It has a 2:1 aspect ratio, an 8K resolution and some very minor editing tweaks.

They could up-scale the 2K version, but it would be a risk to spend a lot of money digitally up-scaling The Hobbit for a 4K release that may not sell well. (The Lord of the Rings Blu-rays had poor sales due to them being digitally up-scaled for HD, and when the films were re-scanned in 2K for the Extended Editions, they had to re-colour The Fellowship of the Ring and there was some backlash about the new colour timing, so they know fans can be picky about details).

Their other option would be to release the existing IMAX versions of The Hobbit in 4K, but it's uncertain how consumers would react to the subtle changes for those versions or the potential noise/artefacts from the up-scaling process.

I'm speculating here, but they could wait for 2020 and hope that Avatar 2 creates a new interest in High Frame-rates and then use that interest to drive the sales of a 48fps version of The Hobbit in 4K.

Or, more likely, they could re-release The Lord of the Rings in Digital IMAX theatres, as an excuse to up-scale those films into 8K using the DMR technology. They could then sell The Hobbit in an IMAX Box-set of all 6 films. (this could happen in 2021, the 20th anniversary of Fellowship of the Ring)

Either way it's going to be a few years, and the version you'll get will be a digital upscale rather than a native 4K film.. However, with the added colour gamut and HDR considered, the benefits far outweigh the risks. It's just a matter of whether it is worth the expensive cost of the up-scaling process vs. how to market the films to an audience that is largely uninterested. Unsure

(This post was edited by AshNazg on May 1, 2:01am)

Superuser / Moderator

May 1, 2:33am

Post #3 of 4 (1102 views)
Avatar 2 is also going to be 4K? [In reply to] Can't Post

Damn. I really dislike the hyper-realism of high frame-rates.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories

Darth Crumb
The Shire

May 3, 8:05pm

Post #4 of 4 (1021 views)
maybe a simple upconversion soon, and a deluxe 4K later? [In reply to] Can't Post

I just saw Gladiator got released in 4K, and it has effects even older than LOTR. And the Matrix is coming soon too.
So I'd imagine they could do a simple 4K upscale and release it anytime they wanted. Probably depends on if the studios just want to dump it out there as a catalogue release, or do something special with it.
Does PJ have any say in how they get treated for a 4K release?


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