Warner Bros. may be so nervous about the mixed reception that The Hobbit received when it was shown to exhibitors in the 48-frame-per-second format last April that it has decided to screen it in only a limited number of theaters at that frame rate when it is released in December. Daily Variety , which cited a source familiar with Warner's release plans, is reporting that the movie may not even be shown in that format in all major cities. The studio's concerns were evident last month when a preview real of the movie was shown at San Diego's Comic-Con at the normal 24 frames per second. At the time director Peter Jackson said during a panel discussion that the best way to experience the 48 FPS format is by watching the entire movie in it, not just a brief reel of excerpts. Apparently the studio plans to test the format slowly with The Hobbit trilogy -- a few theaters for the first movie, a few more for the second, and many more for the third.