So far all we’ve seen of Star Trek Into Darkness is a measly three-frame clip, but if you’re planning to check out The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in IMAX next month you’ll get a much more satisfying eyeful. A nine-minute prologue for J.J. Abrams‘ sci-fi epic will debut in front of Peter Jackson’s fantasy saga. At a typical rate of 24 frames per second, times sixty seconds per minute, times nine minutes, that’s 12,960 times as much footage as we’ve already seen! More after the jump.

Paramount Pictures announced today that the 3D IMAX prologue would play on approximately 500 IMAX screens starting when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey debuts on December 14. The marketing move isn’t a unique one. As you probably recall, Warner Bros. employed a similar tactic last year with The Dark Knight Rises, playing six minutes of footage in front of IMAX screenings of Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; The Dark Knight also revealed a sneak peek, in front of I Am Legend. However, the nine-minute sequence from Star Trek Into Darkness will be the first preview shown in 3D and IMAX.

It’s not known which scenes will play before The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but seeing as Abrams actually shot portions of Star Trek Into Darkness in native IMAX, we can probably assume they’ll come from that footage. (Most “IMAX” releases are actually normal-sized films blown up and remastered for the larger format.)

The plotline of Star Trek Into Darkness remains under tight wraps, but anticipation for the movie is all the higher for it. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, and Bruce Greenwood will reprise their roles from the last film, joined by franchise newcomers Alice Eve and Benedict Cumberbatch. The latter will be the story’s big villain, though his identity has not yet been revealed. Star Trek Into Darkness is due out May 17.

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