Who Needs Comic-Con More - Superman or the Hobbit?

Comic-Con 2012, the world's largest and most buzzworthy convention of genre entertainment, takes place in San Diego next week (July 12-15, 2012, with Preview Night on July 11). Comic book publishers, Hollywood movie studios, production companies, video game developers, and a wide range of other industry professionals will be on hand to reach the fans who will be there in person and those around the world who will be hearing any news that stems from Convention Center during those busy days and nights. Two upcoming movies in particular will be looking to make a big splash -- the Superman reboot Man of Steel and the Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Both are presumed to be blockbuster hits, but they each have their challenges to overcome. After the disappointment of Green Lantern and the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy with this summer's Dark Knight Rises, DC Entertainment desperately needs Man of Steel to revitalize its superhero franchise in the face of Marvel Entertainment's competition.  Warner Bros. failed to reboot the franchise with Superman Returns, which featured many familiar elements from the Christopher Reeve movie series, so now the director Zack Snyder is taking a bigger gamble by truly reimagining the hero from planet Krypton. Will audiences embrace the new vision, or will this be another setback to an eventual and long in development Justice League film that unites DC's all-stars as The Avengers did for Marvel?

The Hobbit might be a larger risk. It's been almost a decade since Peter Jackson's ambitious adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's literary masterpiece. Although that trilogy was an enormous box-office and critical success, can lightning be captured in a bottle again? If Man of Steel doesn't live up to expectations, they can just start from scratch again, but the Hobbit story has been split into two back-to-back motion pictures and has Part Two, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, on the horizon no matter what. Of course, I was skeptical when Jackson shot the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy back-to-back-to-back, and he proved me wrong by making it work above all expectations, but can he do it again?

Jackson is taking an enormous gamble by shooting The Hobbit at 48 frames per second instead of the traditional 24 fps. Some who have seen advance footage claim that the result is jarring and doesn't feel "cinematic." Jackson countered that the preview scenes hadn't gone through the full post-production yet. Will this be a revolutionary new step in the evolution of cinema or will it be another gimmick, comparable to Hollywood's attempt to shove 3-D down audiences' throats? Will 48 fps make movies look even more realistic or just more distracting?

Who will win the early publicity contest at Comic-Con? Which film has more on the line? Will it matter either way? Or does another property need Comic-Con's help moreso than Man of Steel and The Hobbit?

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