‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Crashes Movie Projectors In Japan
James Cameron’s latest film “Avatar: The Way of Water” broke Japan’s box office at second place, but it also crashed its movie projectors.
The acclaimed director used High Frame Rate (HFR) technology to deliver jaw-dropping visuals in the Avatar sequel.
Unfortunately, its film projectors could not handle it, causing technical problems. At the time of writing, we do not have the exact details regarding the malfunction.
Why did Japan’s movie theaters struggle with “Avatar: The Way of Water?”
Many theaters worldwide, like those in Japan, have not kept up with HFR technology. Their projectors still follow the 24 FPS standard because most movies do not use it.
Film theaters usually receive updates on a movie’s format before its release date. Unfortunately, Japan did not adequately prepare for “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
Its projectors faced technical issues when they tried to show the film. Many still wonder why they had trouble with the movie since it only used 48 FPS during a few scenes.
A theater in Nagoya tried to solve the problem by showing the movie at 24 FPS. It released the following statement on Twitter:
“Regarding the screening of the IMAX version of “Avatar: Way of Water,” which will be released on Friday (December 16), it was originally planned to be screened in the high frame rate version (48 fps).”
“Due to various circumstances, the normal frame rate version will be screened. We are excited to announce that the 24 fps version will be shown.”
Still, fans in the country felt disappointed and demanded their money back. Why don’t more movie theaters adopt HFR technology?
Most films do not play at 48 frames per second because it can disorientate many viewers. Also, the higher FPS does not improve scenes with little to no action.
For example, a scene with two characters talking does not improve with a higher frame rate. It becomes more unnecessary in real-world settings.
James Cameron knew this limitation, so he only used HFR for the battle scenes of “Avatar: The Way of Water.” Meanwhile, the rest of the film plays at 24 FPS.
Other directors understand the limits of HFR technology, so most do not use it in their films. As a result, most theaters do not see the need for an update.
What makes “Avatar: The Way of Water” special?
James Cameron is a famous director known for unforgettable classics like “Titanic.” Nowadays, he pushes the boundaries of movie-making with his Avatar films.
The first one came out in 2009 with hyper-realistic visuals for its sci-fi setting. Consequently, it became the number one highest-grossing film of all time.
In 2022, Cameron released the sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” with HFR technology. The acronym stands for “high frame rate,” projecting the movie in 48 frames per second instead of the usual 24.
The word “movie” is a shortened version of the term “motion picture.” Movies are made of frames that contain images of each part of the film.
Projectors allow moviegoers to see movement by showing those frames in rapid succession. The standard speed is 24 frames per second.
HFR technology shows the frames at twice that speed, making action scenes smoother than in 24 FPS.
You can compare that to video games. Gamers demand higher frame rates because it makes Valorant and similar games look more action-packed.
HFR is a major reason why Cameron’s latest movie was so enthralling. He used 48 FPS for the action scenes to depict hyper-realistic movements.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” hit box office records worldwide. Unfortunately, some countries like Japan struggled to show the movie in its full quality.
James Cameron used HFR technology to improve the film’s visuals, but some projectors could not keep up.
The Avatar sequel started screening in the Philippines on December 16, 2022. You may want to book tickets now and see Cameron’s latest masterpiece yourself.