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The Hobbit Top At The Box Office Once Again

Peter Jackson Anne Hathaway Amanda Seyfried The Hobbit

The Hobbit, which wasn’t much of a favorite with critics upon its release, has continued to dominate the box office for the third week straight.

The hit prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy has been a massive hit domestically, grossing over $222 million since its release, and even a bigger hit abroad, with almost double that profit - $400 million in sales. According to distributor Warner Bros, this past weekend has seen Peter Jackson’s blockbuster raise just under $33 million, placing it firmly on top of the box office charts, ahead of a number of blockbusters this season, such as Quentin Tarantino’s controversial Django Unchained, which came in second after the weekend with just under $31 million. Django has made about $64 million, solidifying its place as a rather unusual holiday blockbuster.

Rounding out the top three came Les Miserables, which, with $28 million didn’t do quite as well as its huge critical acclaim had hinted at. Still, the adaptation, featuring Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried, managed to rake in a respectable $67 million over its six-day run so far. If there is one conclusion we can all draw from this it is that people love to spend cash at the movies over the holiday season. Who would have thought!

Christmas Day Releases Set Hollywood On Track For A Record Year At The Box Office

Quentin Tarantino Jamie Foxx Leonardo Dicaprio Anne Hathaway Peter Jackson

Despite a lull at the end of the summer, a huge winter, with films like Twilight, Skyfall and The Hobbit, plus the Christmas day releases of Les Miserables and Django Unchained, have set the scene for a record breaking year for Hollywood in box office sales. 

Les Mis - the Universal cinematic reimagining of the classic musical - hauled in an impressive weekday Christmas record of $18.2 million in the United States and Canada, as families flocked to the pictures to catch their favourite stage show on the silver screen. Quentin Tarantino's controversial yet critically acclaimed Django Unchained - starring Jamie Foxx and Leonardo Dicaprio - managed nearly $15 million on the 25th. analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Reuters in an email that the Studios "are definitely on the road to a record year with $10.8 billion expected (up 6 percent over last year and beating the previous record of $10.6 billion in 2009)." 

Continue reading: Christmas Day Releases Set Hollywood On Track For A Record Year At The Box Office

Learn About West Of Memphis Before Its Christmas Day Release

Peter Jackson

West of Memphis - an examination of a failure of justice in the case against the West Memphis Three - hits New York on Christmas day. Peter Jackson's best know for his Tolkien adaptions, most recently, The Hobbit, so you'd be forgiven for not know much about this explorative documentary. 

Funded by Jackson and Fran Walsh, and directed by Amy Berg, West of Memphis tells the tale of West Memphis Three: three men (Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jr.  Jason Baldwin), who were tried and convicted as teenagers in 1994 of the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. They were later released on suspended sentences, after entering Alford please, which allow them to assert their innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them. It's confusing, we know, but essentially, years of protests, and fresh DNA evidence, which gradually weakened the initial conviction, lead to their release after over 18 years spent in prison. Damien Echols, who was on Death Row, helped produce the film. 

Speaking in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Jackson has opened up on the doc: "It's like a fly-on-the-wall kind of movie but you come away with the strong feeling that justice is derailed as a train wreck," he said. "It makes you angry. Fran and I went on the Internet to look and see how the case had ended. We were pretty horrified to find that Damien, Jason and Jessie were still in jail, but also, appeals had happened and been denied."

Continue reading: Learn About West Of Memphis Before Its Christmas Day Release

The Hobbit Continues Its Expected Journey At The Top Of The US Box Office

Peter Jackson Steven Spielberg James Bond Ang Lee

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey enjoyed another week atop the Box Office charts this weekend, earning more than double that of its nearest rival. It's Contact Music's Christmas Box Office Roundup!

With $36,705,000 this weekend (Dec 21-23), Bilbo Baggins et al, steered by Peter Jackson stayed top, bolstering its total gross to $149,858,000. In at second, and on its opening weekend, Jack Reacher - starring Tom Cruise - managed $15,600,000, while in third place comes another opener for this week, This Is 40 with $12,031,000. Rise Of The Guardians continues to chip away at its $140m budget, coming in at 4th with $5,900,000m and a total gross of $79,694,000. Steven Spielberg's political biopic, Lincoln, continues an impressive 7-week stay in the top 5 with $5,633,000 and a cumulative gross of $116,781,000. Paramount's The Guilt Trip fails to break the top 5 with $5,390,000 on it's opening weekend, while a re-release of Monsters inc in 3D manages, incredibly, to place 7th $5,040,000.

The ret of the top 10 features more Oscar contenders than the top 7 with James Bond Skyfall, Ang Lee's Life of Pi, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 polishing things off in 8th, 9th and 10th with $4,700,000, $3,800,000 and $2,600,000 respectively. Not bad considering they've all been contending for at least 5 weeks. This weekend saw a total of $110,376,200 changing hands at US ticket offices; a decidedly smaller figure than we've seen in recent weeks. 

Continue reading: The Hobbit Continues Its Expected Journey At The Top Of The US Box Office

West Of Memphis - A Documentary Infused With Real Life Turmoil

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson has been at the top of his game lately and his box office hit The Hobbit is just further proof of this. Jackson has also been very active as an advocate on the infamous case of the West Memphis Three, and his passion for the case is felt in the new documentary; West of Memphis.

Three young men - Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley – were imprisoned after the brutal murders of two 8-year-old boys in west Memphis in 1993, however their guilt was hotly contested soon after the verdict was passed. After numerous celebrities rushed to their defense,  the three men all but became martyrs in the eyes of the media. To their supporters, the men’s only crime had been that they were outsiders and therefore, easy targets.

All of the publicity around the case, as well as an expert defense, eventually paid off, as Baldwin, Echols and Misskelley were pardoned, through the use of the obscure Alford plea, which allowed them to plead guilty, while maintaining their innocence. We’re not sure how that works either. The trio are now finally free men, but the publicity around the case is far from over. The documentary West of Memphis, which suggests that it may be worth investigating some other notable figures in the case, has been making the rounds recently. The film, directed by Amy Berg, has been playing at the Sundance Film Festival and has received some very favorable reviews thus far. Whetehr it will have any impact on the case is to be seen however.

The Hobbit Holds It Spot To Be Named The Box Office Champion Of The Holiday Season

Martin Freeman The Hobbit Peter Jackson

The Christmas box office charts hold few surprises this year.

As expected, Peter Jackson’s massive fantasy production The Hobbit is up front, despite generally unfavorable reactions from critics. The film has racked up $36.7 million in sales during its first week and audiences continue to pour in to see the Tolkien adaptation. While the box office proceeds during the week have seen a huge drop from the stunning $106 million the film made during opening weekend, it is expected to make up for the drop during the extended Christmas weekend, when audiences will be more than willing to spend their free time and holiday bonuses on movie tickets.

Coming in as the second highest earner of the week is the action flick Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise as, well, himself. The film made over $15 million this week, but with a production value of $60 million, the movie will be relying on earnings from international audiences to justify the investment. Meanwhile, This Is Forty, Rise Of The Guardians and Lincoln round up this week’s box office chart, bringing in $12, $5.9 and $5.6 million respectively in what is usually a slow week for movies.

Continue reading: The Hobbit Holds It Spot To Be Named The Box Office Champion Of The Holiday Season

The Hobbit Tops The Charts, But Nothing Like Lord Of The Rings Did

Peter Jackson

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey could have been a silent film portrayed by modern dance, and fans would still have flocked to see it. So it comes as little surprise that it - free from silent dance narratives - topped the U.K box office charts, but it didn't manage to outdo it's processors: the might Lord of The Rings films. 

The first part of the Hobbit trilogy, reimagined by Peter Jackson, has taken £11.6 million in the UK since it opened last Friday, and all this despite receiving a mixed set of reviews from the critics. Some lauded its visual styles, whilst others demanded more in terms of substance. 

In comparison, the UK openings of Lord of the Rings films The Two Towers took £13.06 million over three days in 2002, and Return of the King earned £15.02 million over three days 2003. It's also worth bearing in mind that ten years of ticket price increases have taken place, too. 

Continue reading: The Hobbit Tops The Charts, But Nothing Like Lord Of The Rings Did

Box Office Roundup: The Hobbit Hits Box Office Highs As Twilight Drops Out Of The Top 5

Peter Jackson Steven Spielberg

In a truly expected journey for Peter Jackson's latest film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey travelled to the top of the Box Office charts with gusto, while Twilight ended its 4-week stay in the top 5.

Topping the U.S Box Office charts, The Hobbit lived up to all its 'pre-match' hype, dominating by over $70m. To be fair to the other films around it, it was this weekends only major release. With $84.8m, Bilbo Baggins et al take the #1 with ease. Rise of The Guardians, sneaked into the #2 spot with $7.4m - and despite being that high, has still made less money cumulatively over four weeks than The Hobbit, with $71.4m overall. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln - hotly tipped to clean up at The Oscars come 2013 - rises one place to 3rd with $7.24m, while Skyfall - last week's #1 comes in at four with a round $7m. Life of Pi, another film set to light up the Academy Awards, especially for special effects and design categories, is #5 with $5.4m.  

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is dwindling, and has dropped down to #6 despite being at #3 last week. It managed $5.1m this weekend, and can board $276.9m. Wreck it Ralph stays in the top 10, landing a #7 spot finish with $3.2m. Playing for Keeps, Red Dawn and Silver Linings Playbook make up the list with paltry sums. 

Pre-Release Jitters Quashed As The Hobbit Travels To $84.8 Million At US Box Office

Peter Jackson The Hobbit

Crisis, what crisis? Fears over how The Hobbit might have got on over the weekend in the US Box Office were comfortably swept aside as, based on the back of a huge core audience left over from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and a lack of competition elsewhere in the new releases, Peter Jackson’s new trilogy kicked off with almighty takings of $84.8 million.

Though some had predicted that the film could take as much as $100 million on the opening weekend, its eventual figure was still a record for a debut weekend in December for a movie, placing it a huge $77.4 million ahead of second place, a resurgent Rise Of The Guardians. According to E! Online, the previous record was held by the Will Smith starring I Am Legend, which took $77.2 million in 2007, and Avatar now sits at third on that list.

Though a great weekend, there was still one thing to be concerned about: the estimated drop in takings on each day. The film took a reported $37.5 million on Friday (December 14), $28.2 million on Saturday (December 15) and $19.1 million on Sunday (December 16). The sensitive issue of the recent Newtown shooting tragedy may well have played a part, though the film’s studios understandably wouldn’t get into depth about how it might have. With the school holidays beginning this week, though, there is the chance that The Hobbit could sustain respectable takings into the second weekend yet.

The Hobbit Movie Was A "Good Omen" For Martin Freeman

Martin Freeman The Hobbit Peter Jackson

The Hobbit movie, or The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to give it its full title, is currently doing the rounds in cinemas across the globe and whilst not everybody is a fan, one person who was fervent before filming had started was the film's star Martin Freeman.

In a recent interview with Radio Times, Freeman revealed that he saw his part in the film as being a "good omen,' largely down to the fact that he has an uncanny resemblance to actor Ian Holm, who played the role of Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings films. He told the magazine, "When I was having my face cast [for prosthetic ears], I was told that the dimensions of Ian's and my face are almost identical, which they thought was a good omen."

A film as colossal an undertaking as The Hobbit proved to be needs all the good omens it can take, so it's a good thing Freeman was there to fill in that particular one. If you ask us, Freeman was always the perfect choice for the role of Bilbo, and his performance in the film has all but proved that anyway.

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The Hobbit: What Are People Saying - Review Round-Up

The Hobbit Peter Jackson

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first of three movie adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkein's beloved book, and predecessor to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit. With the first instalment of Peter Jackson's adaptation hitting cinemas last week, the anticipation that preceded it had been unseen since, well, the final LOTR movie. Here's what people have had to say so far.

Currently, the film holds a rather unimpressive score of 65% on movie review amalgamator Rotten Tomatoes, and a quick glance through the reviews circulating will show that the overall reception of the film can be described simply as 'meh'. Some have been somewhat lenient on Jackson and his latest effort, whilst others have been much harsher, so let's look at the neysayers first shall we.

CNN were particularly critical of the adaption, saying the film was "a major comedown, a muddle-headed and cumbersome piece of filmmaking that betrays Jackson's mercenary motives -- Tolkien's book, too." Likewise, the New York Times and USA Today were equally unforgiving, calling the film an over-scale" and a "plodding spectacle," as well as bemoaning the "less substantial" story the film relies on. Let"'s not forget, the Hobbit is just one book, shorter than any of the Lord of the Rings books, so a sense that the films will be drawn out would not be lost.

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The Hobbit Enjoys $13m Midnight US Opening, But No Golden Globe Nominations

Peter Jackson

Despite critical apathy and being completely ignored by the Golden Globes, the midnight screenings alone for The Hobbit have already grossed at $13m in the US and Canada, according to the LA Times, which sets the movie up particularly well for future earnings. 

Riding high on the continued wave of The Lord of the Rings success, Peter Jackson's latest Tolkien adaptation has everyone excited. The $13m gross is $5m more than LOTR: Return of the King equivalent midnight viewing, back in 2003. That number also adds to a further $27m of revenue from other countries including the UK, Germany and South Korea.

Neither the mixed reviews nor almost 3 hour running time put audiences off. In fact, the mixed reviews may actually add to those going to see the film this week, eager to make their own mind up about the movie they've been looking forward to for almost a decade. The lack of Golden Globe nominations, however, will be a real stinger. The original trilogy was never as popular with the Globes, with a total of 10 nominations and no wins, as with the Academy Awards, from which they got 30 nominations and 17 wins. However, with an expected excess of $100m of revenue in the US for its first week alone, that should certainly make up for it.

Lack Of Competition Means The Hobbit Set To Dominate Weekend Box Office

Peter Jackson The Hobbit

The critics and fans were worried, but it looks like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is going to be a smash success at the box office even if it isn’t finding wholly favorable reviews – mainly because it hasn’t got any competition.

MTV reports that those most likely to challenge the first of Peter Jackson’s three Hobbit films are those already in the charts, with Lincoln expected to give a strong showing after a week that’s seen it nominated for seven Golden Globes and 13 Critics Choice Awards. Skyfall, too, is expected to linger in the top five although it  will probably fall away from Lincoln, with whom it’s been competing with over the past few weeks.

No other major studio has put out a film to compete with Jackson’s however, and so the lions’ share of the spoils is likely to go his way. The final film in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy Return Of The King collected $72 million at the box office, but experts are predicting that The Hobbit’s debut could pick up around $100 million, thanks to some 3000 plus cinemas showing the film in more expensive 3D cinemas. The film is currently only on 67% on reviews site aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to matter a jot, with even the discontent over its 48 frames-per-second – as opposed to 24 frames-per-second – likely to substantiate in little more than talk as viewers flock to catch the film. A blockbuster weekend is pretty much assured, the interesting thing to note will be how quickly it falls afterwards.

Hot Tickets - US Movie Releases - The Hobbit Bound For Box Office Success, Save The Date Is A Rom-Com Let Down, Pacino And Walken Save Stand-Up Guys

Martin Freeman Peter Jackson Al Pacino Christopher Walken Alan Arkin

This week’s movie releases are an even-handed mix of big budget blockbuster, gentle rom-com and moving documentary.

Obviously, the big chatter is all about Peter Jackson’s latest movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which has arrived to a great fanfare but received a mixed response, thus far. Thanks to the legions of fans hooked on the very thought of a Tolkein adaptation, The Hobbit will undoubtedly attract enough over-excited cinemagoers to bump it up the box office ratings and we will most likely see Skyfall slipping down the ratings chart.

Despite reports of movie fans vomiting in the aisles of their local movie theatres, with their stomachs unsettled by Jackson’s decision to film The Hobbit at 48 frames per second as opposed to the standard 24 frames per second, the film has just about escaped the wrath of the critics. Although the response to The Hobbit has hardly been a case of anyone shouting from the rooftops, bursting with praise, Martin Freeman has been widely praised for his performance as Bilbo Baggins, balancing the fine line that his character must tread between comedic and heroic.

Continue reading: Hot Tickets - US Movie Releases - The Hobbit Bound For Box Office Success, Save The Date Is A Rom-Com Let Down, Pacino And Walken Save Stand-Up Guys

The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey Will Triumph At Box Office Despite Mixed Reception

Peter Jackson Elijah Wood Martin Freeman The Lord Of The Rings The Hobbit

It's been a somewhat unexpected journey for The Hobbit; controversy hit as animals were reportedly harmed during filming, fans felt physically sick due to advanced 48fps technology for its New Zealand debut, and then the reviews came out...

Suffice to say, those reviews were mixed, but that doesn't mean The Hobbit... won't prevail where it really needs to: commercially. True fans of the franchise may shudder at that notion, but Warner Bros, who ploughed a reported $600 million into this film, will be hoping to recoup that and more in ticket sales alone.

The Lord Of The Rings films opened over this same weekend in December 2001, 2002 and 2003, grossing $47.2 million, $62.0 million, and $72.6 million in their respective debut weekends. All three went on to earn over $300 million domestically. The last entry to the trilogy went on to earn $1.1 billion worldwide, InsideMovies reports. 

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A Look At The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Martin Freeman Ian McKellen Peter Jackson

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hit theatres this week with sold out seats and favorable reviews.

And with good reason – the Peter Jackson flick does a great job of retelling and expanding the story of young, happy-go-lucky hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is just enjoying life, until Gandalf (Ian McKellen) comes along to mess it all up. Bilbo crosses paths with three boisterous dwarves on a mission to reclaim their land and suddenly, the young hobbit is faced with the choice of sticking to his peaceful existence or going on an adventure. You can already guess where this is heading, can’t you?

The film, set before the events of Lord of the Rings, features some familiar characters, while also weaving in a lot of new (or rather, old) faces and plotlines. The visuals of the flick are also something to marvel at, shot at 48 frames per second and displayed in beautiful 3D. Because of the unusual frame rate, to the untrained eye, the detailed sets and complex CGI can sometimes look cheap and a bit garish, but whether you love it or hate it, there can be no question that Middle Earth has never looked more impressive. The beautiful setting provides a great backdrop for the cast to cut loose and have fun with acting out this much lighter and more frivolous chapter of the Middle Earth story.

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Was Kate Middleton Deterred By Hobbit Sickness? Prince William Attends The Hobbit Premiere Alone

Prince William Kate Middleton Ian McKellen Peter Jackson James Nesbitt Martin Freeman Nick Cave

Prince William attended the London premiere of The Hobbit alone last night.

His wife, Kate Middleton, was due to attend but was prevented from joining her husband by the pregnancy sickness that kept her in hospital for much of last week. The Duke of Cambridge was the guest of honour at last night’s glittering event at London’s Leicester Square and told the press “She would have loved to have been here if she could.” Typical, isn’t it? You’re stuck at home, pregnant and sick and hubby deserts you for the night to go to Middle Earth for the evening.

Not only did Kate miss out on watching the new film, but she also missed out on hanging out with all the A-list celebrities in attendance, such as Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellan, Peter Jackson. James Nesbitt and – of course – the star of the film, Martin Freeman. Oh and Nick Cave was there! Who wouldn’t want to hang out with Nick Cave in Middle Earth?

Continue reading: Was Kate Middleton Deterred By Hobbit Sickness? Prince William Attends The Hobbit Premiere Alone

Peter Jackson Stands By The Hobbit's Frame Rate Technology, Claims Jeopardy In The Film Industry

Peter Jackson

The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey has had some unexpected troubles comes its way. Animals died in production, people say it's too long (although that one's less unexpected) and it's 48 frames per second technology left people feeling woozy. And it's that point that director Peter Jackson has an issue with. 

"There is a degree of jeopardy in the film industry at the moment because of all the alternative ways people can see movies now - from your home entertainment systems right down to the iPhone and iPad," he said at The Hobbit's official press conference. "But I really hate the idea that I'm a director making a film for an iPad, it's kind of depressing and I think I would go and lie on a beach in Fiji and retire if I thought I was really doing that."

Jackson also spoke of the state of cinema participation to justify his radical, if slightly disconcerting use of new technologies. "It is a time when cinema audiences are dwindling and I think as an industry we have to be looking at what we can do to increase and enhance the experience of going to the cinema," he said, adding, "I for one don't think that the technology that we created for theatrical presentation in 1927 should still be what we are using in 2012. We must make the experience more immersive, more magical, more spectacular."

Is The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey More Style Than Substance?

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson's reimaging of J.R.R Tolkien's work has seen one of the biggest film franchises in history emerge: The Lord of The Rings. But his decision to stretch another of Tolkien's yarns over a trilogy has been met with a mixed response from the critics.

Many reviewers have pointed to The Hobbit's aesthetics in a bid to propose a positive note to an otherwise negative review. But, given his previous work with LOTR was both thematically and stylistically approved by the press and fans alike, has The Hobbit fallen short of its expectations?

With a 74% rating on film score aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes, the suggestion is while the film will entertain fans of the genre, and particularly the franchise, it's lacking as an overall package, and probably won't go down as a classic.

Continue reading: Is The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey More Style Than Substance?

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Gets Panned For Fast Frame Rate

Peter Jackson

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is in the news again, but maybe not for the right reasons.

Rather than going into the acting, the pace or the film’s faithfulness to Tolkien’s original, critics tend to get hung up on Peter Jackson’s unusual choice to film at 48 frames per second, instead of the industry standard of 24. While the visuals in this first installment of the trilogy are no doubt spectacular, the reviews are split so far. Wired magazine’s Hugh Hart calls Peter Jackson’s vision “insanely gorgeous”, while critics from The Independent and The Telegraph, among others, have panned the film, calling it “kitsch and alienating”.

The main criticism here is that the high frame rate exposes the production techniques, making the film look cheap and garish. Jackson himself defends the film, by saying that there are always those, who resist changes, but that the audience will be the ultimate decider for The Hobbit. The director goes on to say that he isn’t expecting the Tolkien adaptation to take any of the big awards this season, except maybe for the visuals and production quality.

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Can The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey Live Up To The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy?

Peter Jackson Martin Freeman

The Hobbit has already come under some negative press: director Peter Jackson's decision to make a trilogy out of an already slender novel, animals dying in the making and fans in New Zealand feeling physically sick over the new frame-rate technology. But how about the actual film, has it managed to recreate the magic of The Lord of The Rings?

Well, it doesn't seem as if anyone can decide. Unfortunately, for fans of the magical world created by J.R.R Tolkien, Peter Jackson hasn't been able to recreate it quite to the same extent as he did with the LOTR trilogy. "As a lover of cinema, Jackson's film bored me rigid; as a lover of Tolkien, it broke my heart," writes Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph in a rather damning, 2/5 review, which went on to bemoan the film's length. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Collin wrote, "barely leaves the driveway. The film lasts for 11 minutes short of three hours, and takes us to the end of chapter six in Tolkien's original novel, which falls on page 130 of the official movie tie-in edition. That's half an hour per chapter, or one minute and 20 seconds per page"

More reviews than not follow that line; citing the film's duration and lack of originality in comparison to its LOTR predecessor. Some reviews, though, are complimentary, and hint that avid fans of the franchise will find something to love, as well as drawing focus to the visual beauty within the film. The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey hits cinema's on the 13th and 14th of December in the U.K and The U.S respectively. 

Andy Serkis On His Gollum Turned Director Role In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Andy Serkis Peter Jackson

Andy Serkis as Gollum was arguably the most iconic aspect of The Lord of The Rings trilogy. His sneering obsessiveness provided twists within the plot, and cult-like mimicry from fans outside it. 

However, his reprisal of the role comes with an added twist, and this time it's behind the camera, as he fulfils second unit director, shooting battle sequences in 3D for director Peter Jackson. "Directing was my main job this time - more than playing Gollum," he explained to Reuters. "I worked 200 days with a huge team shooting battle sequences, aerials. It was an amazing experience and one which I was very, very thankful to Peter for asking me to do."

Serkis's supposed new found role will have come as quite a surprise to many casual and ardent fans alike, but it's not something he's not well versed in. "I'd already started directing short films when we were doing 'Lord of the Rings,' then videogame projects," he explained. "So Peter's known that I've been heading towards directing for a long time. But I always thought my first outing would be a couple of people and a digital camera in the back streets of London somewhere!"

Continue reading: Andy Serkis On His Gollum Turned Director Role In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit Reviews; Does An Unexpected Journey Provide An Expected Success?

Peter Jackson Martin Freeman

Given the popularity of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, and manifestly, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has all the signs of another blockbuster fantasy, but, ahead of it's U.K and U.S releases, is it worth pre-ordering your seat? Here's our review roundup. 

So far, there has been a decidedly mixed response from critics and fans alike. Perhaps the fact it made fans physically sick on its New Zealand debut, due to some unprecedented big screen frame rate, could have acted as a useful barometer for the undecided press reaction.

So what do you want first: the good news or the bad news? We'll start with bad. That's what people do isn't it? The Daily Telegraph, in a 2/5 review, say, "As a lover of cinema, Jackson's film bored me rigid; as a lover of Tolkien, it broke my heart." TIME Magazine was equally honest in its appraisal, writing, "The movie lacks majesty. Grand in parts, the movie is too often grandiose or grandiloquent; and the running time is indefensible," while New York Magazine say "The Lord of the Rings trilogy [has] been replaced by something that resembles tatty summer-stock theater."

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Pictures: Liv Tyler Returns To The Limelight At The Hobbit Premiere

Liv Tyler Peter Jackson Elijah Wood Martin Freeman Ian McKellen

Liv Tyler, The Hobbit PremiereLiv Tyler Looked Stuning At The Hobbit Premiere in New York

Hollywood star Liv Tyler returned to the limelight at The Hobbit premiere in New York on Thursday evening (December 6, 2012). The Armageddon actress - who played Arwen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy - turned up for a reunion of sorts with her former co-stars, wearing a short dress with matching blazer. Tyler also donned a pair of scarlet shoes, which matched her staple ruby-red lipstick.

The 35-year-old met with former co-stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis, who star in Peter Jackson's new movie, with Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. It's been a quiet couple of years for Tyler, who starred in the indie-comedy Super with Rainn Wilson and Ellen Paige in 2010, before appearing in drama-thriller The Ledge in 2011. She does also appear in the comedy-drama Robot & Frank, in which Frank Langella was lauded for his performance as an ex-jewel thief who receives a robot butler from his son. Tyler has signed on for Ti West's forthcoming horror flick The Side Effect about pharmaceutical medicines tested in outer space, though as yet, there is no scheduled release date. 

Continue reading: Pictures: Liv Tyler Returns To The Limelight At The Hobbit Premiere

Warner Bros Denies 'The Hobbit' Will Make You Physically Sick

Peter Jackson

Warner Bros has responded to claims that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is causing motion sickness and intense nausea among viewers. Peter Jackson's fantasy epic has been shot using 3-D and new 48 frames per second technology (the standard rate is 24fps), leaving some cinemagoers feeling as though they're standing on set. As Collider critic Dave Trumbore put it, "when they take a crazy tumble down a rabbit hole, for example, you feel just as disoriented."

Eager for The Hobbit to have a smooth opening weekend after the troubles of the past 2 years, Warner Bros released a statement on Wednesday (December 5, 2012) that read, "We have been screening the full-length HFR 3D presentation of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY extensively and feedback has been extremely positive, with none of thousands who have seen the film projected in this format expressing any of the issues described by two anonymous sources in media reports." It continued, "We share the filmmakers' belief that by offering filmgoers the additional choice of HFR 3D, alongside traditional viewing formats, they have an opportunity to be part of a groundbreaking advancement in the movie going experience and we look forward to having audiences everywhere share in this new way of storytelling." Peter Jackson has understandably defended his choice to use 48fps, saying in a press conference this week, "I'm fascinated by reactions. I'm tending to see that anyone under the age of 20 or so doesn't really care and thinks it looks cool, not that they understand it but they often just say that 3D looks really cool. I think 3D at 24 frames is interesting, but it's the 48 that actually allows 3D to almost achieve the potential that it can achieve because it's less eye strain and you have a sharper picture which creates more of the 3-dimensional world."

Reviews have been mixed for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, though we're predicting a huge opening on Friday December 14, 2012.

Continue reading: Warner Bros Denies 'The Hobbit' Will Make You Physically Sick

High Speed Tech Used In The Hobbit Leaves Fans Feeling Sick

Peter Jackson

It's finally happened; technology is becoming so advanced, our stupid little human brains and bodies can't handle the high speed, high intensity movements achieved by the new tech implemented by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Peter Jackson's new fantasy epic, which has been inexplicably segregated into a trilogy, has been shot and screened at double the frames per second than films usually are, making it the first major Hollywood movie to be shot at such a high speed. 48fps may not sound like much to your hard-core gamers out there, who covet the elusive 60fps, but on a huge cinema screen, it sounds absolutely ridiculous. Too many things happening per second! Waner Bros have been kind enough to respond: "We have been screening the full-length HFR 3D presentation of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY extensively, and feedback has been extremely positive, with none of thousands who have seen the film projected in this format expressing any of the issues described by two anonymous sources in media reports," they say in a statement. 

"We share the filmmakers' belief that by offering filmgoers the additional choice of HFR 3D, alongside traditional viewing formats, they have an opportunity to be part of a groundbreaking advancement in the moviegoing experience, and we look forward to having audiences everywhere share in this new way of storytelling."

Continue reading: High Speed Tech Used In The Hobbit Leaves Fans Feeling Sick

Early Reaction: No Critical Mauling, But The Hobbit Isn't Out Of The Woods Yet

Peter Jackson

There’ve been more than a few queasy feelings surrounding the forthcoming Peter Jackson film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey– and we don’t just mean that critically either, with numerous previews resulting in complaints that the film’s ‘revolutionary’ 48 frames per second shooting has left those watching with nausea and migraines. You always wonder that when a studio starts bigging up the technological aspects of its film rather than the performances of the actors or strength of the plot, they’re about to drop a real nostril-holder.

There are concerns too about The Hobbit being spread over a trilogy when the J.R.R Tolkien book was just one tome. However, the early reviews that have come in for the film – out on general release on December 13 – are veering on the side of positive. Only a handful of the big hitters have so far passed their opinion on the film, of which writes: “A fresh, free-spirited form of fantasy, Jackson's latest provides a younger generation with a stepping stone to his later films while serving the adult's who want more.” Celebuzz meanwhile writes: “A briskly engaging adventure shrouded in superfluous detail, though also, yes, admittedly, technical virtuosity, it's an accomplished if unexciting first chapter in the preamble to his Oscar-winning film series.”

And of the detractors? ScreenCrush is perhaps the least impressed, writing: “Unless your dreams are populated by denizens of Middle Earth, endless footage of them simply talking or walking is a lot less spectacular than Peter Jackson thinks it is.” So not a unanimous slating by any means, though we think the jury’s going to remain out on this one for a while longer.

Continue reading: Early Reaction: No Critical Mauling, But The Hobbit Isn't Out Of The Woods Yet

A Week In Movies Feat: The Hobbit, Helena Bonham Carter, Rise Of The Guardians, Ray Liotta, Ian McKellen, Jack The Giant Slayer And More!

Cate Blanchett Martin Freeman Helena Bonham Carter Ray Liotta Ian McKellen Peter Jackson Joseph Gordon-Levitt Patrick Stewart Hugh Jackman Michael Fassbender James McAvoy Nicole Kidman Sandra Bullock

Pictures: The Hobbit Premiere, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Peter Jackson

Cate Blanchett Peter Jackson Martin Freeman Elijah Wood Ian McKellen Hugo Weaving Billy Connolly Benedict Cumberbatch Andy Serkis James Nesbitt Guillermo Del Toro

Cate Blanchett, The Hobbit Premiere, WellingtonCate Blanchett Looking Typically Radiant At The Hobbit In Wellington

Peter Jackson and his team repaid New Zealand for its hospitality this week, by hosting the world premiere of the new Lord of the Rings film The Hobbit in central Wellington. The country has played host to some of the biggest movie stars on the planet for the past year while Jackson shot the film on its rolling green hills.

More than 100,000 turned out for the premiere of the movie, which has sparked Middle Earth mania in New Zealand. According to The Telegraph, presenters on national radio greeted listeners in fictional elvish language, while newspapers came equipped with complimentary Hobbit posters. Thousands of fans turned out for the premiere at the Embassy Theatre in full Lord of the Rings garb, delighting stars including Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman and Elijah Wood who walked the red-carpet. Wellington actually renamed itself 'The Middle of Middle Earth' for the event, which has been regarded as a godsend for the country's tourism industry. Delays and union disputes have disrupted the production of The Hobbit, though despite wrapping up the hugely anticipated movie, director Peter Jackson admits he is still nervous about the critical reception. "Nothing's ever perfect and it never will be, it's a real mistake if you say we're stopping now because we've made the perfect film," he told Radio New Zealand. "You never have and you never will.I've got severe fatigue right now, but only because I've just finished the film. There's been all sorts of obstacles" 

Continue reading: Pictures: The Hobbit Premiere, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Peter Jackson

The Hobbit Premieres In New Zealand... Where Else?

Peter Jackson Martin Freeman

America, stand aside; it's time for New Zealand to hog the limelight when it comes to movie news for a change. The Hobbit Premiered over there last night, which for them was Wednesday evening.

Peter Jackson - the director, who decided The Hobbit was worthy of a trilogy despite being a pretty short story - gave a brief interview as he made his way down the 500-metre red carpet. "New Zealand is a very small country, it is a very young country and we like to celebrate when we punch above our weight. We sometimes do quite well at sports and now we are doing okay at movie making too," he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, also stopped for a brief chat about being the Hobbit himself. "I love his vulnerability but I also love his strength of character. I love the fact that he feels the fear and does it anyway. I love the fact that he likes corduroy and food," he said.

Overall, it was a lovely affair, with fans even camping outside to get a glimpse of the stars as they arrived for the premiere. Samuel, age 14, though, had a different agenda "I've been here since early this morning, but I don't want to see actors, I want to see Peter Jackson," he said. A future director? We think so. 

Thousands Flock To Wellington For The Hobbit New Zealand Premiere

Peter Jackson Martin Freeman The Hobbit

Though there have been misgivings in certain corners of the press about the quality of the forthcoming film The Hobbit, in the country where the trilogy was shot there’s nothing other than feverish anticipation. That much was proven when tens of thousands of people packed New Zealand’s capital city Wellington today (November 28) in order to glimpse stars at the premiere of the first of the new Peter Jackson films, with people clambering onto roofs and shimmying up drain pipes to get a better look.

Peter Jackson was clearly delighted by the turn out; the director had recently been telling Radio New Zealand that the film was almost switched to England and Scotland following a union dispute, and his pleasure at eventually being able to continue in the land of the silver fern was clear, vindicated too by the interest in the premiere today. "I'm glad that we established the style and the look of Middle Earth by adapting Lord of the Rings before we did the Hobbit," Jackson told Reuters from the red carpet before telling the crowd "Fate meant for us to be here.”

Though Ian McKellen was absent from proceedings, most of the cast were there, including Martin Freeman, who plays the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, and Elijah Wood. "Between us - Peter (Jackson) and me -- we hashed out another version of Bilbo. There'll be others, but our version is this one and I hope people like it," said Freeman of the more light hearted version of the hobbit he’d portrayed in the film. A negative point of the evening came when animal rights activists turned up in protest at recent reports that animals had died on location during the filming. Event organizers tried to block out their posters with Hobbit billboards.

Continue reading: Thousands Flock To Wellington For The Hobbit New Zealand Premiere

'We Almost Had To Move The Hobbit To UK' Peter Jackson Relives Location Change Terror

Peter Jackson

Poor Peter Jackson; it sounded like the director was almost about to start blubbing when faced with the utter horror of having to move filming of The Hobbit to the UK. No sympathy on our part, we have to live here, mate.

The AFP reports that Jackson told Radio New Zealand that one of the lowest points of filming (thus not endearing himself to the UK whatsoever) was when a union dispute could’ve potentially caused them to change locations from the land of the silver fern to Blighty. "The Hobbit came very close to not being filmed here," he told Radio New Zealand, before revealing that England and Scotland was being seriously mooted as an alternative, something that clearly almost broke him as a person.

"The worst time for me was when a huge box arrived in the office...” he said, presumably fighting to hold back tears, his hand being held by the sympathetic radio interviewer, “this large cardboard box arrived and they had sent a location scout around England and Scotland to take photographs.” We imagine he dissolved at this point, his voice shuddering in that affecting but ever-so-slightly-irritating way that the voices of those people who are being upset for no good reason tend to; but credit to him for carrying on: "They literally had the Hobbit script broken down into scenes, and in each scene there were pictures of the Scottish Highlands and England and this and that, to convince us we could easily go over there to shoot the film."

Continue reading: 'We Almost Had To Move The Hobbit To UK' Peter Jackson Relives Location Change Terror

Big Gamble: Tolkien Estate Sues For $80 Million Over Lord Of The Rings Slot Machines

Peter Jackson

The JRR Tolkien Estate is suing the producers of The Lord of the Rings movies for over $80 million in damages, just a couple of weeks before Peter Jackson's latest movie The Hobbit hits cinemas worldwide. The Tolkien estate and the book's publishers HarperCollins accuse Warner Bros of breaching contractual obligations by sanctioning a range of LOTR themed merchandise such as slot machines.

The estate claims that a contract only allows Warner Bros to create tangible merchandise, such as "figures, tableware, stationary items, clothing and the like," and not electrical or digital merchandise. One item that has caused the greatest upset is a slot machine, with the estate believing the association between Tolkien and gambling has caused "irreparable harm to Tolkien's legacy and reputation and the valuable goodwill generated by his works." Lawyers cite the outrage of diehard Tolkien fans over the casino gaming, quoting one particularly miffed individual as saying, "I actually feel angry about this ... this insults Tolkien" adding it is "a nasty, greedy, ugly act ... Whoever is responsible should be ashamed of themselves." The Tolkien estate first learnt of the slot machines through a spam email in September 2010. Warner Bros are yet comment on the lawsuit.

It's another headache for Peter Jackson and The Lord of the Rings makers, who have faced an unusual amount of bad publicity in recent weeks. On Monday, they were accused of mistreating animals on the set of The Hobbit.

Continue reading: Big Gamble: Tolkien Estate Sues For $80 Million Over Lord Of The Rings Slot Machines

Animal Cruelty Denied - Peter Jackson Defends The Hobbit Production Team

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson has defended the production team of The Hobbit who have been accused of neglect, after 27 animals used in the filming of the movie have died.

The allegations were made by “wranglers who were dismissed from the film over a year ago,” but Jackson denies that any neglect took place. In fact, he’s released a statement to say that “extraordinary measures” were actually put into place, to ensure the safety of the animals.

In his statement, Jackson wrote “The producers of The Hobbit take the welfare of all animals very seriously and have always pursued the highest standard of care for animals in their charge… Any incidents that occurred that were brought to their attention as regards to this care were immediately investigated and appropriate action taken. This includes hundreds of thousands of dollars that were spent on upgrading housing and stable facilities in early 2011. The American Humane Association (AHA) was on hand to monitor all use of animals by the production. No animals died or were harmed on set during filming. We regret that some of these accusations by wranglers who were dismissed from the film over a year ago are only now being brought to our attention. We are currently investigating these new allegations and are attempting to speak with all parties involved to establish the truth."

Continue reading: Animal Cruelty Denied - Peter Jackson Defends The Hobbit Production Team

The Hobbit Reportedly Responsible For Deaths Of 27 Animals

Peter Jackson The Hobbit

The much anticipated prequel of the The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, has come under great criticism having been accused of being responsible for the deaths of up to 27 animals. The Associated Press reports that wranglers working with the animals on the film have said that the animals are being kept on a farm "filled with bluffs, sinkholes and other 'death traps.'"

Matt Dravitzki, speaking on behalf of Peter Jackson and the movie, has acknowledged that the deaths of two horses could have been prevented, but that some animals died of natural causes. Furthermore, precautions were taken quickly after this occurred, to secure the safety of the rest of the 150 animals on site. The American Humane Association is overseeing animal welfare and says that no animals being harmed during filming itself, but acknowledges that the complaints have highlighted some serious issues that have gone unnoticed. Namely, a flawed system "which monitors film sets but not the facilities where the animals are housed and trained."

Apparently "One wrangler said that over time he buried three horses, as well as about six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens. The wranglers say two more horses suffered severe injuries but survived." It seems the horses' conditions were worst with multiple injuries and deaths occurring for apparently preventable reasons. 

Continue reading: The Hobbit Reportedly Responsible For Deaths Of 27 Animals

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Crew Killed 27 Animals?

Peter Jackson

Animals wranglers who worked on Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey say the production company is responsible for the deaths of up to 27 animals. The American Humane Association, which is overseeing animal welfare on the films, said the animals were killed after being kept in farms filled with "death traps," reports the Fox News.

A spokesman for Peter Jackson acknowledged that horses, goats, chickens and one sheep died at a farm near Wellington where around 150 animals were housed for the forthcoming movies. The wranglers say the farm was unsuitable for horses because it was peppered with broken-down fences and sinkholes and that they repeatedly raised their concerns with the production company, owned by Warner Bros. One wrangler said he buried three horses, six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens. Two more horses are said to have suffered serious injuries but survived. Wrangler Chris Langridge said he was hired as a horse trainer in November 2010 overseeing 50 horses but immediately became concerned at the suitability of the farm. He said the first horse to die was named Rainbow. "When I arrived at work in the morning, the pony was still alive but his back was broken. He'd come off a bank at speed and crash-landed. He was in a bad state," he said. Rainbow has been slated as a "hobbit horse," though was euthanized before making it on screen. A week later, a horse named Doofus got caught in fencing and sliced open its leg. That horse survived, though others didn't. 

The animal deaths come after HBO cancelled their horse racing series Luck in March after three thoroughbred horses died during production. The network said it pulled the Dustin Hoffman starring show because it could not guarantee future accidents. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters on December 14, 2012.

Continue reading: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Crew Killed 27 Animals?

Star Wars Episode 7: Hollywood's Stars Have Their Say

George Lucas Jon Favreau Peter Jackson

The news of Disney's acquisition - the $4.05b purchase of Lucasfilms, and with it the rights to reignite the Star Wars movies, has had a multitude of reactions: terror, gloom and dread from sci-fi aficionados vs. enthusiasm, vigour and delight from people who look set to mature fiscally from the new arrangement. So what do Hollywood's 'creators' think?

Damon Lindleof, Peter Jackson, J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, and Jon Favreau are all giants of the sci-fi and fantasy genre, and, as genuine fans of the Star Wars franchise, could all yet have a say on what happens in the universe of Skywalker, Lightsabers and Darth Vader, as the creative forces set to steer Episode 7 in any particular direction are still unannounced. "The idea of another trilogy that further shrouds the Force in mystery as its secrets are lost to time - that's extremely compelling," Favreau said. "I want so bad for it to be good. Can you imagine?" he continued wistfully, deep in the depths of imagination.  "Star Wars literally defined 'the magic of movies' to me as a child. No other film had more impact on my subconscious desire to become a filmmaker," explained George Nolfi - the mind behind The Adjustment Bureau, which wasn't very good. 

Sin City and Machete director Robert Rodriguez seems equally enamoured with the news, according to E! Online: "What an amazing world and legacy George Lucas has created -- and it needs to continue in capable hands," the Texas-based filmmaker said. "I do think Disney is the best studio for the job and the fact that they brought in Kathleen Kennedy? I can't imagine a better scenario. And 2015 can't get here fast enough."

Continue reading: Star Wars Episode 7: Hollywood's Stars Have Their Say

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Begins Its Takeover

Peter Jackson Martin Freeman Benedict Cumberbatch Ian McKellen

The countdown to Christmas, for a while at least, seemed to begin earlier every year. It now seems to have plateaued at around October 1st, however, the early countdown crown goes to The Hobbit, for which we've been waiting for nigh on 5 years, although the official countdown clock in Wellington NZ was only unveiled earlier this year. 

Peter Jackson's fourth Tolkien, Middle-Earth adaptation, The Hobbit, has faced numerous setbacks mostly due to Jackson's epic imagination, which forced what was originally going to be just one movie, into three, spread over three years. The first in the trilogy, 'An Unexpected Journey' will be released on December 13th (UK, 14th rest of the world) and stars Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Benedict Cumberbatch, with a running time of just 2 hours and 40 minutes- coming in ten minutes shorter than any other Middle-Earth based movie yet. 

In response to the movie, which will no doubt be one of the biggest grossers of the year (if not all time), and many companies have jumped on the bandwagon. American restaurant chain Denny's have released an entire menu dedicated to the hobbits and the Shire, reports the Huffington Post, and includes Pumpkin Patch Pancakes and 'The Ring Burger' which features three onion rings. Original. 

Continue reading: Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Begins Its Takeover

Dolby Mix Announced For ‘The Hobbit’; Is Technological Focus Going To Hinder The Movie?

Peter Jackson

It’s going to take more than a new sound job to shape up what’s increasingly looking like an alarming film adaptation of ‘The Hobbit’. Fans are already dubious as to director Peter Jackson’s decision to expand the film into three separate movies, even though the book itself is a fraction of the size of its three-part sequel The Lord Of The Rings.

Something else to worry about is the high amount of emphasis Jackson seems to be putting on the technological side of the films rather than, y’know, bigging up the quality of the script or the acting. Hmmm. The latest development he’s got his megaphone out for is Dolby’s new sound format Atmos, which he will be mixing ‘The Hobbit’ in for a select few showings.

“I strive to make movies that allow the audience to participate in the events onscreen, rather than just watch them unfold. Wonderful technology is now available to support this goal: high frame rates, 3D, and now the stunning Dolby Atmos system,” Jackson said in a statement. “Dolby has always been at the cutting edge of providing cinema audiences with the ultimate sound experience, and they have now surpassed themselves. Dolby Atmos provides the completely immersive sound experience that filmmakers like myself have long dreamed about.” You might not be able to polish a turd, but at least you’ll be able to hear the vain efforts to do so in crystalline sound. 

A 75th Anniversary Tribute To The Hobbit

Peter Jackson

The Hobbit: a book that has well and truly stood the test of time approaches its 75th anniversary, and in light of that, ponders its success, and looks forward to the cinematic reincarnation that will see it live on beyond another 75 years.

The Hobbit has sold 100 million copies and been translated into approximately fifty languages, including two of Tolkien’s favourites; Icelandic and West Frisian. Perhaps one reason for its titanic success, considering it’s a child’s book, is the lack of children. Relatable adults, small in stature like kids, but facing big huge problems akin to tax returns and exploding boilers, but in the form of wizardry and spells have enticed younger generations for the best part of a century. Interestingly, there isn’t a single female character in the story, and I don’t mean that there are females, but they’ve all got boyfriends or girlfriends. No. There aren’t any women! For whatever reason, probably due to Tolkien’s mastery of storytelling, this hasn’t proved a problem, but we’ll just have to wait and see how a 2012 audience views the omission of a lady-character.

Talking of the feature-film (of which there are going to be three, director Peter Jackson announced) the first one, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, hits cinemas in time for Christmas on the 14th of December.

Tolkien Fever Hits As The Hobbit Celebrates 75th Birthday

Peter Jackson

The Hobbit turns 75 this Friday (September 20, 2012) and Tolkien-fever is hitting the book stores, ahead of the release of Peter Jackson’s big budget movie adaptation of the novel. Originally published in 1937, Tolkien’s work of fiction had an initial print run of just 1,500. Now, the tale of Bilbo Baggins has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 50 languages.

J.R.R. Tolkien was a British professor; he wrote the stories for his children and the success of the books – as well as his Lord of the Rings trilogy – has endured for several centuries. A spokesperson from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt trade division, told USA Today “These books have spawned thousands of fantasy novels and inspired hundreds of writers in the years since, but it's important to note that it all began 75 years ago with the opening line of a book, 'In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.”

Houghton Mifflin first published The Hobbit in 1938 and are planning a series of commemorative editions to mark the novel’s 75th birthday. These include “include a leather-bound $19.95 "pocket Hobbit"; a $35 deluxe edition illustrated by Alan Lee, who won an Academy Award for art direction for The Return of the King; and the $13.95 movie-tie in paperback edition for An Unexpected Journey. Meanwhile, a new trailer for The Hobbit movie was released this week, building anticipation for the film’s December release.

The Hobbit Trailer Released Ahead Of Tolkien Week

Peter Jackson Martin Freeman Ian McKellen

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, is due for cinema release in December, but fans of the franchise have been given a sneak preview of the film by way of a trailer.

The trailer, which debuted on broadcast and online media, will be shown in cinemas around the world throughout Wednesday, to really up the hype for the much anticipated franchise, which comes from the same people that brought Lord of The Rings to the big screen. Fans of LOTR - The Oscar-winning trilogy that grossed almost $2.9 billion worldwide a decade ago – will be paying close attention to all Hobbit related news, as the upcoming fantasy drama looks set to build on the success of it’s ‘father films’. The Office star Martin Freeman plays Bilbo Baggins - the title character - and Sir Ian McKellen returns to his role as Gandalf.

Peter Jackson announced earlier this year that The Hobbit will be split into three films, all due to be released a year apart, saying "We know the strength of our cast and of the characters they have brought to life. We know creatively how compelling and engaging the story can be and - lastly, and most importantly - we know how much of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realise this complex and wonderful adventure."

Anticipation Hits Fever Pitch As New 'Hobbit' Trailer Revealed

Peter Jackson Martin Freeman Ian McKellen Cate Blanchett

With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opening in December 14th Peter Jackson and co. have unveiled a new trailer as well as several new images ahead of the first of what has become a trilogy of movies - this in spite of the fact that The Hobbit in book form is but a mere fraction of its behemoth genuine three-part sequel The Lord Of The Rings.

The trailer shows Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit whose quiet life in Middle Earth is disturbed by the arrival of the wizard Gandalf - played once again by Sir Ian McKellen. Meeting the dwarves in his home, he's soon shown setting off on the adventure where he meets characters recognisable from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, including Elrond of the elves and the elf lady Galadriel (once again played by Cate Blanchett.) Gollum also makes an appearance and the film looks like it's going to have all of the visual wonderment of the three films in the series previously directed by Jackson.

The trilogy is going to have go some way to topping the Lord Of The Rings three, with the Daily Telegraph pointing out that they grossed a combined $2.9 billion a decade ago. Nevertheless, anticipation has been huge for these new films, so you'd have to say it has every chance.

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Peter Jackson

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31st October, 1961







Peter Jackson Movies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Movie Review

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Movie Review

Peter Jackson's expanded take on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit comes to a conclusion in a...

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Trailer

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Trailer

The Lonely Mountain has been reclaimed from the dragon Smaug. The dwarves of Thorin Oakenshield...

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Trailer

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Trailer

Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the mini-army of dwarves led by Thorin are facing an evermore...

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Movie Review

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Movie Review

With wittier action and a few more sharply defined characters, this second episode in Peter...

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer

Bilbo Baggins has narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants...

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer

Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and their company thirteen dwarves have managed to leave the Misty Mountains...

West of Memphis Movie Review

West of Memphis Movie Review

Corruption, self-interest and rampant bigotry are so clearly portrayed in this riveting documentary that if...

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movie Review

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movie Review

This first chapter of Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy takes us back to the familiar...

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Trailer

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Trailer

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, who lives a quiet life in The Shire. His peace...

The Lovely Bones Movie Review

The Lovely Bones Movie Review

This film is packed with involving performances, even though Jackson takes a bloated approach to...

District 9 Movie Review

District 9 Movie Review

With a relentless pace and seamless effects, this offbeat alien invasion thriller combines non-stop action...

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Movie Review

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Movie Review

Need I provide a pithy introduction to The Two Towers, the second installment in The...

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Movie Review

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Movie Review

You think Harry Potter had expectations? It's a beloved book, sure, but it was...