The CinemaCon crowd may not have been keen on 48fps footage of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but we defy anyone to say they don't want the best sound possible. A select few will get just that, as Dolby and Peter Jackson's own Park Road Post Production have announced the film will be mixed for the speaker-packed Atmos technology. If you're lucky enough to live near one of the select establishments it's installed in, we doubt you'll be grumbling about the immersive audio, even if the frame rate makes those orcs look unsettlingly real.
Update: That link of "select establishments" is somewhat out of date and, although the official list of locations you'll be able to see The Hobbit in Atmos has yet to be released, Dolby says there should be between 80 and 100 screens capable of delivering the over-the-top audio experience by the film's debut.
October 24, 2012
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to Feature Dolby Atmos Mix
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB) and Park Road Post Production today announced that director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), will be mixed in Dolby® Atmos™ to deliver a more natural, realistic soundtrack that moves sound around and above audiences, helping to transport them into the world of Middle-earth.
"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."
Academy Award®-winning trio Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, and Michael Semanick (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) will be creating the Dolby Atmos mix at Park Road Post Production. Dolby Atmos is a new audio platform that revolutionizes the experience of sound in entertainment. It allows sound designers and mixers a new level of creative control and ensures that cinema audiences will experience the full impact of their mix regardless of theatre configuration.
"It's an inspiring time in cinema, with Peter Jackson taking moviemaking to new frontiers with Dolby's next-generation audio solutions," said Doug Darrow, Senior Vice President, Cinema, Dolby Laboratories. "When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres equipped with these Dolby technologies, audiences will be transported into the journey with the lifelike realism the creative team envisioned."