"Hobbit" Moviegoers Complain of Dizzy Spells, Nausea

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The new movie, "Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," is causing an unexpected reaction in audiences. Some viewers in New Zealand say they became dizzy and even nauseous during the movie, which is projected at a higher rate of speed than usual. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2012. (Published Tuesday, Dec 4, 2012)

    "Hobbit" fans who attended early screenings of the film in New Zealand claim its high frame rate made them feel dizzy and, in some cases, nauseous.

    "It's a little bit different and anything that's different visually can be nauseating," said Alex Ben Block, senior editor of The Hollywood Reporter.

    "Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is projected at 48 frames per second, which is twice as fast as the 24 frames per second movie-going audiences are accustomed to. In fact, it’s the first major Hollywood film to be shot at such a high speed.

    Only select theaters are outfitted to show the film at that rate, and only a few of them are in the Los Angeles area.

    "The good news is, this movie will also be available and play in 3-D, 2-D [and] Imax," said Block.

    It’s not the first time Hollywood has experimented with faster frame rates. The film "Brainstorm," starring Natalie Wood, was screened at 60 frames per second when it was released in 1983.

    And it's also not the first time audiences have complained about getting sick, either. The film "Avatar" made people queasy and then went on to make nearly $3 billion worldwide.

    "I don't think bigger, or, you know, the way seconds per frame go are really gonna matter to die-hard fans," said Ryan Liebowitz, who runs Golden Apple Comics.

    Hollywood producer and director Bryan Singer praised the frame rate on Twitter after the premiere.

     

     

     

     

     

    "Just saw #Hobbit. Having some serious frame rate envyed," he tweeted. "Amazing and involving. Loved it! And @ianmckellen118, my friend, you are brilliant!"