LOS ANGELES -- Middle-earth will sound more realistic in "The Hobbit."
Dolby Laboratories Inc. and director Peter Jackson's Park Road Post Production announced Wednesday that "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will be mixed and released in Dolby Atmos. The immersive new sound system features two extra arrays of overhead speakers and the ability to direct sounds to individual speakers inside movie theaters.
"The Hobbit" film series is adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's tale of Bilbo Baggins and is set in the fictional realm of Middle-earth 60 years before "The Lord of the Rings."
Dolby says it expected to have the Atmos platform installed in 80 to 100 theaters in time for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." The first of three films in "The Hobbit" series is slated to be released Dec. 14.
DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Writer