Ever since sound came to the cinema the main standard frame rate for the movies has been 24 frames per second. Over those decades there were attempts to take it to 30fps, 48fps and 60fps. However they failed to grasp the mainstream side of the film industry let alone the exhibition side. High frame exhibition stayed mainly in the special venue arena like Showscan and Iwerks. Sadly ImaxHD, which I had the privilege to see, was all of those, however on a level that is quite hard to explain with out experiencing it for yourself. Personally my love for large format cinema makes me biased. I wish all movies were shot on imax and 65mm. Of course when Digital acquisition systems reach this level of quality, we will just adopt that as standard. However until then, large format will remain the choice for only a few who can afford to do so within the industry.
Frame rate change will not have to wait though, there's these two guys, you might have heard of them – James Cameron and Peter Jackson; these two men want to take cinema to the next level sooner than later.
There are two choices: 48 Frames Per Second and 60 Frames Per Second.
Peter Jackson made his choice, and that was to film The Hobbit in 3D at 48 fps on Red Epic cameras. James Cameron though at this time has not stated which he will go with. He has mentioned that 60fps might be what the Avatar sequels will be filmed at. Either way he will choose one of them, and this will have one of the largest impacts on how cinema is perceived since the beginning.
There are at least two very solid camps in the film industry on this subject. The filmmakers that want to move the frame rate upward, and the camp that wants to keep it where it has been since sound entered the picture. The filmmakers that want no change are worried that the emotional impact on audiences will be sacrificed for a soap opera feel of live HD motion that has minimal strobing. The other camp wants to move the frame rate upward to eliminate the the strobing associated with 24fps acquisition, and this will also improve the 3D experience. Increasing the frame rate to 48fps, and 60fps will smooth out the annoyances that happen with strobing with 3d projection. James Cameron believes this will be one of the major additions to 3D to make it more complete. Whatever choice is made, we are in a pivotal evolving stage at this moment in the film history. It's really just a sit back in the chair, watch it unfold and let it become what it is destined to be.