Wednesday's Daily Variety had some interesting comments from "Tech Bytes" columnist David Cohen:
Ten days before the "Hobbit" footage debuted, James Cameron told me about the high-frame-rate (HFR) look, "I think there will be people that love it. And there will be people that say it looks like video, because video is the only way they can process something that looks too real. But it's really quite magical."
Cohen draws some interesting conclusions about HFR (high-frame rate):
• The 48 fps format of "The Hobbit" will not be widely adopted, because it's a compromise that doesn't deliver the full impact of HFR;
• Eventually, but probably not soon, the default frame rate for most studio movies will be something around 60 fps, with directors choosing higher or lower frame rates for creative effect;
• Bizzers in both TV and movies are going to be making creative and financial decisions about HFR for years -- maybe forever.
Cohen basically says: 48fps is not enough. Only visionaries like Jim Cameron, about to embark on a 60fps project, will really make a big change.
Interestingly, the article manages to forget that Doug Trumbull was shooting 60fps Showscan back in 1981.
If I had to make a prediction, I'd say that the success of The Hobbit will depend on how good the story is, plus the acting, the direction, the editing, and the effects (not necessarily). I don't think audiences will care about the frame-rate or the camera used, though I'm sure a certain percentage of the viewers will notice it on some level.