This shouldn't surprise anyone with even a small amount of technical know-how. Part one of The Hobbit will only be releasing in its new-fangled 48FPS (or HFR as they're now calling it) in a very select number of theaters across the world. The notion is that this release will serve as a test for the future two installments of The Hobbit, which would obviously see an expanded HFR release if this release goes well.
I don't even see why this is something the film studio felt the need to explain. Many digital projectors would require an expensive upgrade to enable them to play the HFR 3D, let alone all of the projectors that are too old to even be able to receive the upgrade. Warner Brothers is likely banking on people being so wowed with the few HFR screenings available that they'll make such a clamor for more that theater chains will be happier with absorbing the cost of such a large-scale upgrade.
I said this on Twitter and Facebook last night, but I'll say it again here. I don't give a flying f**k about the technical stuff or whether or not it'll even look good. I want to see The Hobbit in 48FPS in 3D because it's something I've never seen before in a theater, and even if it sucks hard, it's the way Peter Jackson intended to show it, so I think he at least deserves enough credit to try this new thing, even if it sucks hard.
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Flixist's previous coverage: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey