'Avatar' sequel's cutting-edge tech crashed some movie projectors in Japan

'Avatar' sequel's cutting-edge tech crashed some movie projectors in Japan
By: Engadget Posted On: December 21, 2022 View: 84

Despite being the widest release of all time in Japan, Avatar: The Way of the Water failed to claim the top ranking last weekend as it was topped by an anime basketball picture called The First Slam Dunk. On top of that, multiple theaters in the nation reported technical problems, with one in central Japan forced to reduce the 48 fps frame rate down to the traditional 24 fps, Bloomberg reported. 

Fans were reportedly turned away from other screenings and issued refunds. Some of the theater chains cited by fans as having issues, including United Cinemas Co., Toho Col, and Tokyu Corp., declined to comment on the problem.

Not many movie theaters support high frame rate (HFR) 48 fps playback, as it requires the latest projectors or upgrades to existing ones. Normally, movie theaters would be aware of which formats they can play and plan accordingly. But HFR has been used so little that it would be understandable if errors cropped up. 

Avatar: The Way of the Water is available in multiple formats, including 2D 48 fps, 3D 48 fps and regular 24 fps. If you see the 48 fps version, it only uses the HFR tech for action sequences, while dialog and slower scenes are dialed down to 24 fps (by duplicating frames). Engadget's Devindra Hardawar saw the film at 48 fps and liked it, but added that the technology remains divisive.

Other notable films using HFR were Ang Lee's Gemini Man and The Hobbit trilogy. When the latter came out in 2012, I argued that high frame rates work best with the 3D format as it helps eliminate potential eye strain and even nausea. That's not an issue in 2D, so 24 fps gives the most natural look with none of the video game/soap opera effect that many people dislike.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.

Adblock test (Why?)

Read this on Engadget Header Banner
  Contact Us
  • Contact Form
  Follow Us

Brainfind is your one-stop shop for breaking news headlines and personalized news stories. Not only are we a news aggregator and content curator, we also allow registered users to publish their own articles on our website with full credit and their social links.