‘The Hobbit’ Trilogy Has Already Cost Twice as Much as ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy

Published 11 months ago by

Bilbo Baggins sitting on the budget for The Hobbit trilogy The Hobbit Trilogy Has Already Cost Twice as Much as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Given how many extras, prosthetic hobbit feet, expensive suits of armor and custom-made weaponry were involved in the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s somewhat surprising to think that each individual installment was made for $94 million or less. All three films in the trilogy were shot back-to-back and released within a year of each other, and director Peter Jackson has brought that release pattern back for his latest J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation, The Hobbit, which has also been divided up into three parts.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was one of only four releases last year to top $1 billion at the box office, setting a high bar for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to match when it reaches theaters this December. The second movie in the trilogy has the benefit of introducing Star Trek Into Darkness villain Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Smaug the dragon, as well as featuring the return of Orlando Bloom as Legolas.

One way in which The Hobbit has already beaten The Lord of the Rings by quite a wide margin, however, is in its price tag. The Associated Press reports that, according to financial productions filed in New Zealand this week, the production costs of the Hobbit trilogy had already reached approximately $561 million by March 31st, 2013. This doesn’t count the additional two months of filming and pick-ups carried out after that date, but it means that the production of The Hobbit has already cost twice as much as that of The Lord of the Rings.

Some of that extra cost can be accounted for by inflation, but Jackson’s decision to shoot all three Hobbit films at 48 fps using 3D cameras was almost certainly a major contributing factor to the expense. The massive pile of gold in Smaug’s lair that was shown in the most recent trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is probably a pretty good visual representation of just how much this trilogy cost to make.

The Hobbit Desolation Of Smaug The Hobbit Trilogy Has Already Cost Twice as Much as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

In terms of investment vs. reward, The Return of the King is the most successful of the Tolkien-based films so far, having grossed more than The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the box office and made back well over ten times its original production budget. Marketing costs, of course, are always an important (if shady) variable to take into account, but it’s safe to say that the Hobbit trilogy is going to have to work very hard in order to match The Lord of the Rings in terms of profitability.

If this is evidence of anything, it’s that the epicness of the story being told isn’t necessarily measured in dollars. Many Tolkien fans were surprised to learn that The Hobbit was going to be stretched out over three movies, considering the fact that the book the trilogy is based on is such a slim volume and Bilbo’s adventure isn’t quite as dramatic as Frodo’s quest to throw the One Ring into Mount Doom, defeat Lord Sauron and save Middle-earth from near-total destruction while major battles take place in the background.

The budget does sound impressively extravagant, but just think of all the Tolkien fans in the ’90s who probably never would have dreamed of seeing over half a billion dollars spent on bringing one of their favorite books to the big screen. Based on what we’ve seen of The Hobbit so far, do you think that Jackson’s making the most of his money?

_____

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released on December 13th, 2013.

Source: Associated Press

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  1. Not a big deal. The first film made over a billion dollars, so they already made all of their money back, and then some.

    • you dont understand how the movie industry works… its not just gross – budget = profit…. there are marketing costs, licensing costs, distribution costs, ect.

      • still though. they’ll make it all back.

      • Yes, but they still made it all back on the first film alone. Two more to go (already filmed), and they are likely to make over a billion each as well, so that’ll be 3 billion + from the theatrical releases, and then, the added income from the DVD sales.

        Now, you were saying?

      • All of those things are included in the budget. As are paying the cast/crew, locations, etc. They’ve made it all back and will easily do the same with the next two.

    • My thoughts EXACTLY

  2. No offense to Tolkien and Peter Jackson fans, but wasn’t the first LoTR trilogy enough? These flicks were too long in the first place. Each OVER 3 hours long.

    A relative gave me the Blu Ray special edition with OVER 50 HOURS of bonus material! I said, “no thanks” and traded that in for “The Two Towers.” The theatrical cut, not the “4 hour power” edition.

    The first three flicks were fine. “Two Towers” was the best. But the ending of “Return Of The King” never seemed to end. lol And then Jackson pushed an EVEN LONGER version of it to consumers. All three LoTR flicks.

    The Hobbit is NOT as epic as LoTR. One movie would have sufficed. But THREE??

    One could barely stand the effeminate, big footed hobbits in the first place. And these Tolkien films are hardly a vehicle for any fan who isn’t anglo saxon or/or even female. If you happen to be a non white female fan, there won’t be a role for you in ANY of these flicks.

    These days, only the most die hard Tolkien fans are waiting in line to see the “hobbit” flicks.

    At one time it seemed Peter Jackson was an incredible film maker full of ideas. But all he’s done since his last trilogy is crank out more of the same. Nothing “original.”

    Perhaps once he’s finally done with Tolkien’s work’, he can teach “Tolkien Literature 101.”

    • C’mon
      Don’t hold back
      Tell them why you mad son

    • Ah, you know, you don’t have to see the films if you don’t want to, right?

      It’s obvious plenty of other people do.

      • There must be a hell of a lot of die hard fans if the box office gross is already over 1 billion dollars. Or it just be the die hard fans AND the huge general audience. It’s obvious people want to see this. Sure I wasn’t really impressed with the first Hobbit, but it doesn’t mean I’m done with it.

        • might just be*

          • “These days, only the most die hard Tolkien fans are waiting in line to see the “hobbit” flicks.”

            That’s why it made a billion, genius.

            • It’s still dull though. Really dull. I wanted to like it, I really did. But was it strictly necessary to spend an ENTIRE HOUR on the dwarf dinner at Bilbos? Just flabby and pompous compared to LOTR in my opinion. And maybe there’s a billion people going to see it on the strength of LOTR. Again, doesn’t mean it’s any good.

              • “But was it strictly necessary to spend an ENTIRE HOUR on the dwarf dinner at Bilbos?”

                Yes, yes it was.

                • I didn’t mind the dwarf dinner. But was it necessary to spend 10 minutes plus with a bunch of characters, most of whom aren’t even in the darn book, sitting around a big stone table going “Wouldn’t it be awful of Sauron came back? I sure hope Sauron doesn’t come back. You think Sauron’s gonna come back?” and basically grinding the forward momentum of the movie to a dead stop?
                  I hated that scene so much.

                  • For a fan of Middle Earth, I enjoy all the time I can get there!

                    If you don’t like it, or are “bored” by it, you don’t have to see the films.

                    • Or you’re free to say how you feel.

                  • The Hobbit trilogy isn’t just The Hobbit, though. It incorporates a ton of stuff from tolkiens unfinished tales, and it likely draws from the silmarillion, as well. The pace is going to be much slower in some parts, and difficult to manage, because they’re telling stories that weren’t necessarily meant to be told concurrently.

    • When I watch the LOTR trilogy extended (which in my opinion is the ONLY way to watch the films, in order) it doesn’t ever feel like 3 hours.

      I bet their will be some piece of media out their which you wish was longer and more to 3 hours(ish). If people love something, give them more, and Jackson did with LOTR.

      Time flies when you’re having fun. If LOTR and The Hobbit aren’t your things, that’s fine, but I don’t understand why you’re acting so confused about why people like something, and very naturally want more. The answer has been and always will be, because they do.

      The fifty hour bonus is obviously (though I do assume you are aware) behind the scenes and making off footage. Some people just like to devote a day from their busy lives and whop it on whilst doing the household chores, I know my dad does, and it is really interesting, getting to see how things were shot, why, how things were made, actor anecdotes etc.

      It’s all made for fun, you either enjoy it or you don’t, it’s that simple. But acting all confused about the situation and why things are made doesn’t really make much sense pal. You seem very intent on criticising the people who do what they love. If Jackson wants to make successful films set in Middle Earth, that make over a billion dollars, establish a beloved franchise, and become a millionaire high in demand director, then who are you to judge?

      There is no complex answer to your questions and statements, only the ones that are staring you in the face.

      • I agree with the dude uptop. The films are extremely bloated and the stories are essentially excess fat.

        • then like the dude under him said, you know you don’t have to watch them right?

        • Yes, Trey. If you don’t like them, you don’t have to watch them, and you don’t have to waste your time commenting on them, either.

          • Saying you dont have to watch them is a stupid comment. Being a fan of cinema i see almost every film released in theatera. And i never said i watch them a lot, ive watched each twice. Did i say the films have no redeeming quality? I did not because thry do.

            Dont be so defensive over a film you enjoy. Im not saying should enjoy it, i was giving my opinion of the STORY. The films have amazing production design and set peices. But its bloated as hell and the story can be easily trimmed by hours each film. Cant be mad at someone for commenting on a comment thread

            • Not “mad”, just conveying my thoughts, as you are yours. Simple as that…there is no more emotion behind them than you have behind yours.

        • I agree this film was pretty bloated and overlong. I got bored several times during the film, though there were parts that I enjoyed very much. I’m hoping Desolation of Smaug isn’t the same way.

      • @George

        Very well put.

    • Funny how you began your post with “no offense”,you ended up sounding like someone who:

      1. Doesn’t appreciate Tolkien (shouldn’t be here)
      2. Doesn’t appreciate nice works of art, because the movies don’t have a better definition than that.
      3. Doesn’t appreciate movies at all. Twilight is a “flick” (and a bad one). LOTR and The Hobbit are, by no means, “flicks”. Oh and uh…the hobbit is just as epic as Lotr, i don’t even know why i wasted my time typing all this but my very being demanded it.

      • “the hobbit is just as epic as Lotr”

        I second this

    • @Kryptonic

      I honestly don’t understand why you would “trade in” the extended versions for the theatric versions… Aren’t the theatrical cut ON THE DISC with the extended versions?? If you want to watch the theatric version, couldn’t you simply pick that one instead of the extended???

      • I have the EE BluRay trilogy and I don’t remember ever seeing that option.

    • Or you can just not watch the films… hey! That was easy!

    • Then don’t watch them!

    • > Pretends to be concerned that women have few characters to identify with.
      > Uses “effeminate” as a reason he can’t stand the hobbits.

      • > “…women have few characters to identify with….”

        Are you able to dispute this fact? And you and everyone else who went out of their way to make personal attacks concerning my opinion evaded my point about the complete lack of other ethnicities and races (that are non white) in these flicks.

        > “Uses “effeminate” as a reason he can’t stand the hobbits.”

        Actually, the Elves are pretty womanlike, too. But at least they have better hygiene than the hobbs.

        • Well, it was written for the people of England to have a folk tale, and since most people there are white, then it makes sense for most of the characters to be white also. No sense in forcing other races in just to be more PC.

          There were those Arab looking people that were walking into the black gate(s) though.. It’s just too bad that the only non-white characters were bad guys.

    • Kryptonic. Hi, having watched all that bonus material and the extended cuts I can say its all worthwhile as a fan of Tolkien and the film making process. It helps I also work in a creative industry so was inspired by all the craftsmanship at work but even on the level of just been a fan it was all well worth seeing.

    • I’m actually appreciative of all the bonus material. A bunch of friends and I got together to have a LOTR EE marathon, and then a month later we got together to have an all day watching of the extras, and they were great! I’m glad he took the time to make them all. Over the next month or so I watched the rest of it myself, and though some parts were more interesting than others (the “appendices” discs were more documentary like and were more interesting, and the “behind the scenes” discs were more like life on the set, with actors and crew talking to the camera), I’m really glad he did it all.

    • Hobbits are … what… *effeminate*?
      They looked like pretty normal guys to me.
      You know, the kind of people who have fun and live their lives without being obsessed by some testosterone-only definition of “male” that limits you to a very stereotypical, narrow life.

    • I do agree that the rings trilogy was a bit lengthy but to say that 1 film would suffice for the hobbit is patently ludacrous!
      Jackson is adapting all of the appendices from the end of The Return Of The King and adding all of that content into the films as well. Also, have you seen the desolation of smaug? It is excellent! I don’t think you should be too quick to judge until you have seen Peter Jackson’s work on the film. And again, that “Lengthy Trilogy” won 11 academy awards including best director for Peter Jackson himself.

  3. got to spend money to make money – though I did feel The Hobbit was disappointing, but I will be there on day one to see the next one and so will millions of other people and these movies will be profitable, although they should scale back marketing – why do they need a Denny’s marketing tie-in?

    • Denny’s is tasty!

      • FO SHO – but I don’t need no Hobbit to tell me a Grand Slam is so tasty!

        • Mmmmmm, Grand Slam.

      • everybody loves dennys its an american institution

    • I usually go to Denny’s for Second Breakfast.

      • what about 11sies? afternoon tea?

        • Yes, Yes and Yes.

      • This would get a thumbs up from me!!

  4. Didn’t expect that, even if it’s ten years later, it’s surprising to see the budget take such a leap. Especially when the story doesn’t really have the same epic scale of the Lord of the Rings. I’m wondering if switching to 48fps was a good idea, I could’ve done without it. As for the 3D, I could’ve definitely done without that, though almost every movie comes in 3D nowadays so it’s not surprising.

    • Yeah I thought 48 fps was fine. But I enjoyed the movie more NOT in 3D and NOT in 48 fps when I went to see it in theaters a second time.

      • Nothing was really special about the 48 fps, I find. I really hate 3D too, it always makes the screen look smaller. Thankfully, I caught it without the 3D.

        • It took me out of the experience for the most part. The only moment where I thought the 48fps added to the movie was the flashback battle sequence with the pale orc or whatever. That scene looked great with the added frames imo. Other than that it looked funky.

          I wear glasses so 3D is awful for me. Wearing two pairs of glasses at once presses down on my ears and they start to ache after about an hour. I’ll make the sacrifice every now and then (like to see Pacific Rim in IMAX3D for example) but for the most part I try to avoid 3D.

    • I liked the movie much more in 48fps. Jackson does a lot of panning and fly-by shots, and they’re a lot smoother in HFR.

      The 3D was also well done IMO. With a lot of 3D films these days, I forget that it’s in 3D after a while, but with this (perhaps because of the HFR), the 3D was noticeable right up until the end.

  5. Actually, knowing this makes it make more sense to me that they split it to 3 movies. They spent so much more money than LOTR to do it as 2 movies might as well throw a little more money that way to make it 3

    • That could be a large part of the rationale behind the decision. I mean we all knew it was for money, so that makes the most sense. The decision was made during production wasn’t it?

      If I’m not mistaken it was the same for the LOTR trilogy. It was only going to be two movies but it ended up being three when the studio execs were impressed with screen tests early on, then later actual footage and dailies during production of Fellowship.

      • A studio exec suggested it be a trilogy when they were doing the pitch to make the films. Jackson was trying for just one or two films (can’t remember which).

  6. I think this is staggering. Besides the rise in inflation, I can’t see the quality of where this budget went. So far, The Hobbit films, seem to totally lack the visual aethstetic of the Rings trilogy.

    Besides Gollum, the CGI in an Unexpected Journey was lukewarm, definitely a step down from the effects of 10+ years ago.

    I’m not touching the content issues of The Hobbit, but visually, it’s a completely disappointing movie.

    Desolation looks to be on par, with some added griminess in the Mirkwood scenes. We will see.

    • ^^^
      I agree, that albino orc thing looked lousy.

    • Ah…they pretty much looked the same to me, with the exception of a little more CGI, and I’m no more of an “expert” on the matter than you…

    • Yeah my problem was the use of CGI Orcs in the film. The Orcs in the LOTR trilogy were men in make-up and were therefore much more frightening and real looking as opposed to cartoony looking Orcs in The Hobbit!

      • That would be my only criticism of the film as well. Otherwise loved it. Don’t know why they opted to go with CGI Orcs instead of real life. I’d love to ask Jackson that, but in the end, it’s not that big of a deal. Still epic.

  7. Yes its alot of money and I think that the 3D wasn`t required but as Cold said big blockbusters tend to used 3D now so its understanable but regardless of money and the reasons why its became more expensive aslong as we get two good movies who cares. The majority of people who go to see the film arnt botherd if it cost 100million or 500million we just want to see good movies and while I though there could have been improvements to the first hobbit I still though it was a good film and have faith that Peter Jackson will deliver two more movies that will hopefully surpace the first part.

  8. As long as we get a bonus feature with Orlando Bloom taking the hobbits to Isengard, that’s all that matters.

    • this?

  9. I love these movies despite their length. For me it just means the journey will last a little longer and I’m all for that. I never read the books but at least when I do I have a little bit of background to work with. The first Hobbit movie was fun and I enjoyed seeing the dwarfs a bit more than we did in the LOTR movies.

    • For a true fan of Middle Earth, we do enjoy all the time that we can get there.

  10. The problem with this budget is that Jackson is one of those directors who needs studio restraints (like a budget) to actually be creative. King Kong was a bloated mess and The Hobbit continued that trend. He’s been just throwing money at the screen ever since LOTR which is a shame bc LOTR was masterful and that was largely because he didn’t have gobs of money to distract from just telling a story. The Hobbit was like watching a kid in a sandbox of video games visuals. I’d almost put it on par with the Star Wars prequels in its miscalculations of what made the series good. Probably won’t even bother with the new one in theaters after the first. And yeah, three damn three hour movies off one short book proves Jackson’s only intentions now: money

    • + 1,000,000,000,000,000

    • I couldn’t agree more. Jackson needs restrictions to stay sharp, creative, and innovative. A virtually unlimited budget has worked to the detriment of the quality of these movies.

      It is very much the Lucas Tragedy playing itself out again: too many resources, too many ideas, and muddled vision.

    • I couldn’t disagree more. Comparing him to Lucas?!

      Look, as I’ve said over and over again, you don’t have to see the films if you don’t like them. It is obvious, however, that many, many people do.

      And by the way, don’t know what kind of “fanboy” you are, but the first Hobbit film made almost twice as much money, and got better reviews, than Man of Steel, so allow me to throw that back in your face.

      • Except that he’s completely right, and no amount of increasingly tedious and childish ‘you don’t have to see it if you don’t want to’ arguments will change that.

        You can only know you like a movie after you’ve seen it, and after you’ve paid your money you are perfectly entitled to criticize it. There was no mention of ‘fanboy’ or man of steel, simply someone expressing their opinion of a deeply flawed movie. The fact that so many people saw it is no reflection on its quality, it is a reflection on marketing; or are you suggesting that the transformers films are modern classics?

        As to its reviews, some people on this site simply disagree with them. In any case even the positive reviews I’ve read were hardly glowing with praise.

        • +1
          The argument barely even works. If every person who had a problem with this film didn’t watch it, the movie probably would’ve been far from breaking a billion. And where does Man of Steel come into the mix?

        • Jeff is a part time clown and full time ignoramus who still can’t let go of MOS cause we refuses to put his nostalgia goggles down. If he has the right to share his ridiculous opinion so can anybody else that paid money to watch The Hobbit. Hey Jeff if you don’t like the comment you don’t have to respond to it. LOL

          • Oh, Kryptonian resorting to name-calling. Not very “knightly” of you, but thank you, as I now know I’ve won the debate.

            • “Knightly”? Guess what Jeffy I’m not Kryptonian either. I know it’s shocking to hear this cause your probably wearing your Superman underwear as we speak. The only thing you have won is the jester of middle earth award. Congratulations! BTW nobody wins a debate with the “You don’t have to watch it…” line, so get a new one LOL!

          • And because I assume you are a fan of Man of Steel, “Kryptonian”, here are some facts for you. Per Box Office Mojo and Rotten Tomatoes…

            Man of Steel –
            $662 million + gross, 56% approval critics, 76% approval fans

            The Hobbit -
            $1 billion + gross, 65% approval critics, 82% approval fans

            Now, feel free to resort to some more name-calling, if you must.

            • To think man of steel would make more than the hobbit is idiotic. It is coming off one of the most successful trilogies of all time. Man of steel is coming off superman returns…. a box office flop. Comparing reviews is stupid as well because 65% is nothing to praise nor is 58%. The hobbit can be compared to the phantom menace, its reviews are somewhat similar and its not even an ounce of what the trilogy was. Add in a jar jar binks esc wizard and the comparisons are there.

            • Are you saying quality is determined by box office?

            • Here is another fact you forgot. You can save 15% off your car insurance by using Geico. Who doesn’t know that Jeffy? Calling you ignoramus is not name calling it’s just a fact and by comparing The Hobbit to MOS just proved it and don’t assume anymore your just making an ass out of yourself at this point not me. Keep digging that hole bud… LOL

              • Oh Kryptonian, you do like to fall back on the name-calling, don’t you? I guess in the end, that’s all you have, since you so often resort to it when disagreeing with someone. Please know that, every time you do it, I picture the 99-pound teenager with braces and freckles that you probably are. I’m also guessing that you get bullied in school, so you have to puff yourself up on the internet to compensate. Why “Kryptonian Knight”? Is that who you wish you were in real life?

                • Keep digging Jeffy… You are putting on a real show for everybody here. It’s amazing how you take the bate every time. You have the deduction skills of Batman and you write like a warrior poet. You figured it out, you described me perfectly. The posterity you will bring to this world will be sooo special. I do find it interesting that you are so hung up on name calling and yet your pathetic attempt to insult me is very hypocritical and even Jesus did not like hypocrites, YIKES! At least I have the wit to mock you with style. You on the other hand not so much. BTW I wanted Kryptonian Hobbit actually but it was sadly taken, rats! Cause that’s what I want to be in real life, a CGI marvel in middle earth.

                  • “It’s amazing how you take the bate every time”…

                    “At least I have the wit to mock you with style”…

                    You’re just great, aren’t you? I bet you giggle to yourself, too.

                    :)

                  • whoa whoa whoa kryptonian knight, let’s get one thing straight…it’s “bait”, not “bate”.

      • The George Lucas comparison is too generous. “The Hobbit” put Jackson into Ed Wood territory.

    • “LOTR was masterful and that was largely because he didn’t have gobs of money to distract from just telling a story.”

      minor point but since when is 300 million dollars not “gobs of money”?

      • Initially it was less than 300 million (like 270 or less), and that was for three movies. They gave more for post production after the success of the first movie, etc.

        Anyway, even a 100 million a piece is a fairly modest budget, even in early 2000.

  11. I love the LOTR movies. It made sense they were long movies because the books contained a lot of story. The Hobbit, on the other hand, does not need to be as long as it will end up being. Not everything needs to be a 4 hour movie (looking at you King Kong).

    • Right.

      What’s Peter Jackson gonna do once he’s done pillaging Tolkien’s work?

      Maybe he’ll direct a REMAKE of his own trilogy: “Lord Of The Rings Over The Hills And Far Away AGAIN (and again and again and again…)”

      • He said he’s going to direct The Adventures of Tintin 2 after completing The Hobbit films.

        • Which I am very excited for btw!! Loved the first one! I read the comics as a kid.

          • Never read the comics but I did enjoy the first film.

    • You see, people don’t realize that these movies aren’t only about the one, 300 page “The Hobbit”. The movie takes the material from “The Hobbit” and adds to that from the appendices at the back of “The Lord Of The Rings”. Now. If you are a diehard fan like me, and have read every Tolkien material you can get your hands on(and even if you only read the appendices) you will be able to appreciate the extra content that was put in and see the value in it.

      Peter Jackson is not only telling us the story of ” the Hobbit”, he is telling us the story of middle earth and the story of middle earth does not ony tell the story of Bilbo or Frodo, it tells the story of everyone who lives in it and what part they had in this epic journey and so, the extra scenes like the white council in an unexpected journey become valuable material. Once you see that, you won’t just see it as a three hour, over bloated movie, you will see it as a three hour epic.

      • True enough. But for those of us who would like to see, literally, The Hobbit itself adapted to film, it is indeed a bloated mess.

  12. MILD SPOLIERS AHEAD!

    I actually think that the Hobbit has every potential to be epic though.
    Tolkein only focused on Bilbo during the Hobbit, but he had numerous characters during LOTR. If he focused on more characters in the Hobbit then it would seem more epic I think.

    Plus, there’s the whole war between men, elves, dwarves, goblins and wargs (I believe that’s the five?) which can be pretty darn epic on film, but it was glossed over pretty much entirely because the book only focused on Bilbo who was unconscious during it.

    So yeah, I reckon that the Hobbit (book) always had the potential to be epic.

    • As the Star Wars prequel showed, throwing hundreds of computer generated creatures at each other in a battle does not constitute epic.

  13. Off course it cost more money, this movie had enough CGI for ten movies. The goblin sequence was video game over the top. I hope they tone it down a bit because they don’t need it. LOTR will always be a timeless classic because they focused more on the characters than they did on the special effects. I’m hoping they will improve on the sequel. I loved the dwarf world though it was stunning.

  14. I find it is more often the ignorant that pitch a fit than the informed.

    Those of us happy to see this being done, who can appreciate some artistic license, are going to be very happy for the last two installments of The Hobbit.

    I’d watch them all if they were longer too.

    When all is done and on special edition blue-ray I’m hoping with just the films and the deleted or removed scenes restored we have over a day of Tolkien to enjoy. Whose with me?!

  15. I love that the Hobbit was split into 3 parts. At first I was skeptical, but after watching the first one, which was pretty exciting considering all of the best parts of the book are yet to come (except for the Troll scene, that s*** is great). I thought that the Hobbit was far and away the best book. The LoTR trilogy is extremely dense and as a young adolescent, they were hard to read. The next two movies should be epic, especially the last one, where the battle will kick the crap out of any battles in LoTR.

    • I disagree.

      Best sequence is Riddles in the Dark hands down. It made the movie for me.

      As cool as the battle of the 5 armies will be (was it 5? or 6? or 4?) it’ll be pretty hard to top Helms Deep or Minas Tirith.

  16. I liked AUJ very much, but the CGI and CGI stuns ruined so much for me. It is hard for me to watch through the movie’s “exciting” mid-part now due to this, and I actually skip over scenes like the Goblin King and Bilbo falling down to the underground lake consumed by Gollum (that fall look false-ass dumb).

    But to be honest, I think the colouring of the movie (it’s golden and flashy look) is what makes it seem so false. Black-toning it down a great deal will probably make it look far more realistic.

  17. I know that some people didn’t like The Hobbit as much as LOTR, but I don’t think anyone can deny that the opening few scenes if The Hobbit were perfect. They had the classic score music that one associates with LOTR and you were in Bagend with Frodo and Old Bilbo. I know it was not a scene from the book, but I thought it was so cool that they linked it to the party at the start of ‘the fellowship…’

    For me that was perfect, it felt just like the original films. Admittedly the tone did change after that, but I think that was so the Hobbit films could have their own identity. I would be very surprised if the final few scenes of the trilogy did not have the same sort of feel and really link back to LOTR films nicely.

    On a different note, once these are done I want to see Jackson do an original project and see what he comes up with. So sad that we only have two more films in Middle Earth

    • He did The Lovely Bones in 2009. It was this murder mystery deal. It was based on a book I think. You could check it out if you want, I never saw it.

      • @ movieDude – ok thanks, I’ll have a look at it if I get the chance

  18. I enjoyed the Unexpected Journey..and i have no doubt that Desolation of Smaug will be great. The Hobbit book is not the only source being used for the films. As has been mentioned, the appendices in the Lord of the Rings book are also being used for reference(page 1108 “Durin’s Folk”). And also from the book Unfinished Tales(page 335 “The Quest of Erebor”). Peter Jackson has changed some things yes..he did the same for the Lord of the Rings…he did so for the sake of cinema. His changes did not hurt the stories in the book. In fact it made more people want to go and buy and read LOTR. In a way his changes only enhanced the story. It will do the same for the Hobbit. Some things that work in a book may or may not translate well to the screen. It’s not an easy task. The only thing i wish that could have been done differently is in the Return of the King at the siege of Minas Tirith, rather than have the “ghost” army push back and defeat the legions of Orcs, i would have rather seen an Army of Gondor arrive. But it is what it is. No harm done. Still a great movie. Still A great trilogy.

  19. I do not think that the money is being spent well, but it is no surprise that production budget does not always have a positive correlation with product. I did not see An Unexpected Journey in 48fps, but I did see it in 3D, which is almost always a waste of everything IMO.

    The single most important “expensive VFX element” in The Hobbit is Smaug, so that had better blow us away with that one.

    The Desolation of Smaug should cover my favorite parts from the book, so I am considering seeing it in the theater in spite of being very disappointed by An Unexpected Journey. Jackson needs to re-prove to me that he is making something of artistic merit.

  20. Its fair to say the hobbit lacked all the craftmanship that the original trilogy had. Adding more cgi locations and enemies didnt make a better film it watered down the skill involved

    • It definitely didn’t offer as much as The Lord of the Rings did, VERY far from it. The fact that you spend more time in Middle Earth is beside the point, it’s whether or not those scenes actually offer something instead of ‘more time’. I’m hoping Desolation of Smaug is different because I’m a huge fan of the books and films.

      • Agree. I get the feeling some people want some kind of real-time 24 hour version of middle earth.

        PJ really had a special touch with LOTR in my opinion. The Hobbit is a mess, riding on fumes of the original trilogy. I would have preferred one 2 hour movie, or 2.5 maybe.

        That said, I’ll see this movie in HFR 3D because I thought the first one was so weird and extra bad in that format. It was a real trip.

  21. Twice as much, and only half as good (so far, IMO).

    • I like even less the half of it only half as much as it deserves.

  22. I don’t know about you guys but I guess the coming of superhero films also had some effect on the expectations I had about The Hobbit. The day I went to see the film, I was still thinking about the films I had seen thus far.

    TDKR, The Avengers, Prometheus, Looper, Cloud Atlas, James Bond to name some. By and large the topic was Sci-Fi and not fantasy. That’s why in my opinion The Hobbit seemed out of place. Anyway, I agree that the film doesn’t have the vibe of the first trilogy but in the end I was satisfied with the result. Really looking forward to watching the second part.

  23. Twice the price for half the quality!

    (That’s the Hollywood success story guarantee!)

  24. 1 серия 9 Сезона

  25. This movie will make a ton of money, but it’ll make a lot less than the first one. The third one will see a continued drop-off. Unlike LOTR. But they’ll make a ton of money, no doubt.

  26. Wow, what a joke. How are people comparing Jackson to Lucas with the prequels?
    Jackson wanted to tell a more full story, not just make more money. He used other materials and fleshed out the story a bit more. Not once did it feel bloated to me. I am a big fan of the LOTR films (EE versions especially), and actually liked The Hobbit a bit more. The tone is totally different though, and people expecting another LOTR will be disappointed, because it’s not meant to me that.

    Here’s a quote from Ian McKellen (Gandalf) about making the films a trilogy:

    “Anyone who thinks Peter Jackson would fall for market forces around him rather than artistic integrity doesn’t know the guy or the body of his work”

    Jackson also said:
    “The book is written in a very brisk pace, so pretty major events in the story are covered in only two or three pages” “So once you start to develop the scenes and plus you wanted to do a little bit more character development, plus the fact that we could also adapt the appendices of Return of the King, which is 100-odd pages of material that sort of takes place around the time of The Hobbit, so we wanted to expand the story of The Hobbit a little bit more, as did Tolkien himself. So all those factors combined gave us the material to do it.”

    • hear hear

  27. Today’s 200 million dollars equals 90 million dollars of that time

  28. well all you haters let’s see you try too make or direct a movie..or even a trilogy of this scale and magnitude..and see what you come up with…im proud of peter jackson and im a kiwi .. we are all proud of him and what hes done with these films and how many people flock too new zealand..justtoo se a glimpse of some of the filming locations.. so chew on them words..

    • alot of the technology used in the earlier films was created by peter jackson and his weta digital effects…studios.. james cameron was an avid admirer of peter jackson’s work on the LOtR.. he wouldnt of made avatar if it wasnt for peter jackson paving the way of this new technology.. and also where do you think James Cameron lives good ol New Zealand …so if all you people who dont like peter jacksons work..coming from a simple slapstick horror director too coming one of the worlds best and sought after directors with friends like steven spielbergh, james cameron, and a few others..well you get my drift…lets see you topple that ..peace out.

      • The problem with uneducated people like yourself is that you can’t tell the difference between valid constructive criticism and ‘hate’. I don’t think anyone has expressed outright hatred for Jackson or wishes him or his team any harm. There were elements of the first Hobbit movie that really sucked and no piece of work is above criticism. James Cameron made Avatar and sure that was revolutionary in a technological sense much like The Lord of the Rings was revolutionary in many ways when it was first released. But just because both Jackson and Cameron have made these big successful blockbuster films that have pushed boundaries in the film, it doesn’t mean that their work doesn’t have flaws that bother people. It doesn’t matter how much success they’ve had financially or how much respect they have in the film industry, these films still have problem. In particular, I thought The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Avatar and Titanic all had mediocre stories even though I could enjoy the more visual aspects of these films.

        And no, most of us could not direct films like Jackson or Cameron but that does not make our opinion invalid. Most people that comment on this site have seen hundreds to thousands of films and know what makes a good movie. It comes down to our own personal taste, of course, but most of us can make fair comparisons between other people’s works and compare direction, writing, acting, production etc. We’ve built up a knowledge of films and can share the criticism that An Unexpected Journey had terrible pacing or that Avatar was mostly style over substance or that Titanic had an overwrought love story. People are perfectly inclined to disagree with me and other criticisms on this site and allowed to like what they like. Just because they don’t share the same opinion as me or don’t worship at the feet of directors or financially successful movies, doesn’t make them “haters” or “jellus” or their success. Peace out!

  29. The cost most likely went up with the inclusion of 3D and HFR cameras. So they use more expensive equipment then charge us more at the box office, so obviously they’ll make more back on the film. The 1 billion + isn’t actually that impressive on the Hobbit compared to LOTR because LOTR didn’t have stupidly priced 3D tickets and IMAX tickets contributing, just good old box office tickets.

    I like the Hobbit movies, they’re fun and entertaining, but nowhere near as great as LOTR (which will remain a cinema icon). The Hobbit movies feel bloated, some parts absolutely silly, and watching it it’s obvious that Jackson just wanted to spend more time playing in Middle Earth than telling a concise story. I understand the argument of “the more in Middle Earth the better” but from a cinematic perspective the Hobbit films have a bloated storyline, poor pacing, and too many unnecessary scenes to make it truly amazing.

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