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Happy Birthday Tolkien, EBay Sale Draws In A Fortune To Defend Hobbit Pub


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If there was ever a time to sell of JRR Tolkien's it's now, because there has never been quite so much interest in the author. While the Lord of the Rings trilogy sold incredibly well, and continues to be a favourite among fans, the release of The Hobbit, ten years after the original trilogy opened, marks the beginning of a whole new wave of Tolkien enthusiasts in the making. This is probably why a fireplace once owned by Middle Earth's creator has received a bid of £50,000 on eBay.

Stephen Malton, according to the Bournmouth Echo, is the proprietor of a demolition who demolished a bungalow that used to be owned by the writer. Since the building was destroyed, Malton has uncovered a number of items that he thought would be lucrative - and he wasn't wrong.

As well as the fireplace, among the items were a postcard sent to Tolkien, two lions' heads that have already been sold, a stone griffin and a fairy ornament. 

Continue reading: Happy Birthday Tolkien, EBay Sale Draws In A Fortune To Defend Hobbit Pub

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!

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

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.

Continue reading: The Hobbit Movie Was A "Good Omen" For Martin Freeman

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.

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

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.

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. 

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

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

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

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