Watch Air New Zealand THE HOBBIT Safety Video with Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood

by     Posted 12 hours ago

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Air New Zealand is all in on the Lord of the Rings tourism industry.  They created a 5-minute safety video set in Middle Earth to show passengers before each flight with plenty of Hobbit sight gags.  Directed by Taika Waititi (Flight of the Conchords), the production values are solid and the clip is entertaining, as far as airline informational videos go.  The result will make you actually pay attention to the safety instructions on your next flight to New Zealand.

Watch the video—featuring appearances by Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Sylvester McCoy, Dean O’Gorman, and Weta Workshop co-founder Richard Taylor—after the jump.

THE HOBBIT Movies Cost $745 Million, But That’s Okay Because They’ve Already Made Nearly $2 Billion

by     Posted 18 hours ago

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Calculating the budget of Hollywood films is a tricky business.  Rarely is the “official” number the actual amount that a movie cost, and even if a movie seems to have made more than its reported budget, that doesn’t factor in the cost of marketing and distribution; roughly, a movie has to make about one and half times its budget to become profitable.  The cost, obviously, goes up with sequels, as studios put more money into a film that now has a much higher probability of becoming profitable thanks to brand recognition based on the first film.  In the case of The Hobbit franchise—a series of prequels to one of the most popular and successful film trilogies of all time—one can imagine the amount of money Warner Bros. spent to bring them to fruition.

But now one doesn’t have to imagine that number, as it is being reported that the cost of the three Hobbit films has now totaled $745 million.  That’s, uh, a lot of money, but even still, it’s looking like most of what the final installment, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, makes in theaters will be profit.  More after the jump.

Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Pretend to Be a Dragon in THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Extended Edition Clip

by     Posted 2 days ago

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One of the more impressive aspects of director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was the characterization of the titular dragon.  Benedict Cumberbatch not only provided the voice for the sleepy/cranky character, but he did performance capture as well that was then used to inform the animation of the dragon’s movements.  In anticipation of the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition on Blu-ray, a behind-the-scenes clip has been released that shows Cumberbatch performing as Smaug.  It’s a pretty fun watch, and you can definitely see how Cumberbatch’s movements influenced the finished product.  Additionally, Warner Bros. has released an assortment of other clips (both from the film and behind-the-scenes) from the EE release that are sure to pique interest, and we’ve included them as well.

Take a look at the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition clips after the jump.  The film will be available on Blu-ray 3D and DVD on November 3rd, and is currently available on Digital HD.

New Posters from IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, AMERICAN SNIPER, THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, and More

by     Posted One week ago

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A collection of new posters for upcoming films has landed online.  Briefly:

  • In the Heart of the SeaThe first trailer for Ron Howard‘s telling of the tragedy of the Whaleship Essex landed earlier today, and now we have one of my favorite posters of the year.  It’s ominous without being overbearing.  The film opens March 13, 2015, and stars Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw, and Brendan Gleeson.
  • Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb – Meanwhile, we have a contestant in the running for worst poster of the year.  I don’t know if this is an awful photoshop job or if everyone is supposed to look like a cardboard cutout.  The film opens December 19th, and stars Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dan Stevens, Ben Kingsley, and as you can see from the poster, lots and lots of other people as well as a monkey with keys.
  • American Sniper – The Clint Eastwood drama gets another somber poster.  Bradley Cooper stars as U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who served four tours in Iraq and quickly became the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.  The film opens in limited release on December 25th.
  • Horrible Bosses 2 – Kudos to Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz for trying to make the exact same facial expression.  The comedy sequel opens November 26th, and also stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, and Jamie Foxx.

Hit the jump to check out the aforementioned posters.

The Onslaught of THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Posters and Banners Continues

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Have you had enough of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies posters and banners yet?  Of course not!  Science shows that unless a movie has at least 23 posters, it will drastically underperform at the box office.  Thankfully, in addition to all of the other posters Warner Bros. has recently released for the movie, we now have three more posters along with three banners.  With this many posters and banners, how can you not see this movie?

Hit the jump to check out the new posters and banners.  The film stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom, and Luke Evans with Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Smaug.  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in 2D, 3D, HFR 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 17th.

New THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Character Posters Featuring Legolas, Thorin, Tauriel, Bard, and Thranduil

by     Posted 10 days ago

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Warner Bros. has been releasing a new Hobbit poster every day for some time now, so we figured now was a good time to round up the latest The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies character posters in one convenient location.  The concluding installment in Peter Jackson’s trilogy will no doubt feature a battle of epic proportions as the title suggests, and indeed Thorin (Richard Armitage) and Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) look pretty roughed up in their posters.  The elves, curiously, don’t have a scratch on them.  Then again, when you’re as pretty as Orlando Bloom, Lee Pace, and Evangeline Lilly, it’s hard not to look good no matter the circumstances.

Take a look at the latest The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies character posters after the jump.  The film also stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and Benedict CumberbatchThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in 2D, 3D, HFR 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 17th.

New BIG HERO 6 Poster Gets Colorful; Plus New Posters for THE HOBBIT, THE IMITATION GAME, and PADDINGTON

by     Posted 15 days ago

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New posters for some of the year’s most anticipated films have landed online.  Briefly:

  • Big Hero 6 – A new Big Hero 6 poster has been unveiled in anticipation of New York Comic-Con, which gets underway this weekend.  The Disney Animation film is the first adaptation of a Marvel comic for the studio and opens in theaters on November 7th.
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Hot on the heels of Bilbo and Gandalf one-sheets, the latest character poster for the final chapter in the Hobbit saga features Cate Blanchett as Galadriel.  The film opens December 17th.
  • The Imitation GameKeira Knightley gets her own poster for the WWII drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician Alan Turing.  The awards-friendly film opens in the UK on November 14th and in the US on November 21st.
  • Paddington – A new UK poster for the live-action/CG hybrid film based on the series of childrens books shows all of the titular bear’s favorite things.  The film opens on December 25th.

Check out the new posters after the jump.

The Parade of THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Posters Continues with a Close-Up on Gandalf

by     Posted 16 days ago

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Yesterday, we got a The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster for Bilbo (Martin Freeman), and today we’re getting one for Gandalf (Ian McKellen).  Warner Bros. loves doing character posters, and we can expect plenty more for this movie, especially since there are so many dwarves whose names we still don’t know because they’re basically background to set pieces.  I will say that I’m glad we got to see McKellen play Gandalf again, and I hope this conclusion gives him another chance to shine.

Hit the jump to check out the new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster.  The film also stars Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Smaug.  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in 2D, 3D, HFR 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 17th.

New THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Poster Teases the “Defining Chapter” of the Saga

by     Posted 17 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster reminding us that yes, there is still one more Hobbit movie to go.  This poster features a bruised and dirty Bilbo (Martin Freeman) wielding his sword against a backdrop of destruction with the tagline “The Defining Chapter.”  Indeed, director Peter Jackson will attempt to bridge the gap between The Hobbit trilogy and the Lord of the Rings trilogy with this final Hobbit film, and I’m definitely curious to see how this will segue into Fellowship of the Ring.  It’s kind of crazy just how little enthusiasm there seems to be for this Hobbit series.  Each LOTR film was a massive event, and while anticipation was certainly high for An Unexpected Journey, it feels like the majority of moviegoers are turning up for these Hobbit movies out of obligation rather than genuine excitement.  That’s not to say the Hobbit trilogy doesn’t have its fans, but on a general audience scale, the passion surrounding the release of these films seems almost minuscule in comparison to LOTR.

Regardless, take a look at the new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster after the jump.  The film also stars Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, and Benedict CumberbatchThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in 2D, 3D, HFR 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 17th.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Banner Lays Out the Final Stand

by     Posted 38 days ago

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A brand new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies banner has been released, detailing the epic scope of the final film in director Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.  This banner reminds of the one that was released for An Unexpected Journey before the adaptation was turned into a trilogy, which gave us a look at how this series would have been structured as a diptych.  Judging by this massive banner for Five Armies, Jackson plans on going out with a bang in his final foray into Middle-earth, but I’ll always wonder if this adaptation might’ve been more compelling if the director had stuck to two films.  Forget the extended edition Blu-rays, I’d love to see an abridged version that cuts the trilogy into two movies.

Anyway, hit the jump to take a look at the ginormous The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies banner.  The film stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Hugo Weaving, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Cate BlanchettThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies storms into theaters in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 17th.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Extended Edition Adds 25 Minutes; Clip and Blu-ray Details Released

by     Posted 79 days ago

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition details have finally been released.  The extended version of Peter Jackson’s second film in his Hobbit trilogy adds 25 minutes to the running time, bringing the grand total up to 186 minutes.  That’s up from the 13 minutes added to An Unexpected Journey, but relatively tame compared to the Extended Editions of The Lord of the Rings, the shortest of which clocked in at 218 minutes.  In addition to the added footage, the Extended Edition of The Desolation of Smaug also includes nine hours of new special features, including audio commentary with Jackson and co-writer Philippa Boyens and The Appendicies, a multi-part documentary focusing on various aspects of the film and trilogy.

Hit the jump to watch a clip of an extended scene and to get a look at the Blu-ray and DVD artwork.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition arrives on shelves November 4th, while the concluding installment The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters on December 17th.

Comic-Con: Peter Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom Talk THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

by     Posted 84 days ago

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From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the third in a trilogy of films that bring the masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, to life.  It is an epic conclusion to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves, who have reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, but have unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.  And there are even greater dangers ahead, as darkness converges on their escalating conflict, and the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must either unite or be destroyed while the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H, Peter Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom spoke to press at a conference, in which they talked about why the title of the third film changed, the progression of the tone, from the first film to this one, perfecting the voices of Smaug and Gollum, the creation of Tauriel, the experience of revisiting characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and how long it might be before any of the films get remade.  Peter Jackson also talked about why The Silmarillion will probably never get adapted for film, and how he feels about a new King Kong film.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

New THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Images: Luke Evans Prepares for War

by     Posted 86 days ago

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Fresh off yesterday’s teaser trailer debut, Warner Bros. has released a few new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies images for director Peter Jackson’s final installment in his J.R.R. Tolkein saga.  This third Hobbit film will obviously cover the concluding events of the book, but will also likely cover much more ground from Tolkein’s appendices, as we glimpsed some truly epic footage of Lee Pace’s Thranduil doing battle and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf in a rather precious position in yesterday’s trailer.  I still don’t think the Hobbit films are near the quality of Jackson’s masterful Lord of the Rings trilogy, but during the Hobbit panel at Comic-Con last weekend, I did get the sense that Jackson really aims to go out on a high note with this one.  Here’s hoping he succeeds.

Hit the jump to check out the new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies images.  The film also stars Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lilly, Stephen Fry, Hugo Weaving, and Benedict CumberbatchThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters on December 17th.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Trailer and Poster: Peter Jackson’s Trilogy Concludes in Epic Fashion

by     Posted 87 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer for the final chapter in Peter Jackson‘s Hobbit trilogy.  This is the trailer they showed us at Comic-Con on Saturday, and it’s interesting to see how the prequel trilogy is trying to pull into The Lord of the Rings by using “The Steward of Gondor”, which was sung by Pippin (Billy Boyd) in The Return of the King.  The song still works here because it’s sad and somber, but the line that sticks with me from this trailer is when Thorin asks his company, “Will you follow me one last time?”  It’s a line that’s really directed towards the audience, but there’s a weariness to it that’s surprising.  It’s almost like saying, “Well, we’ve already come this far.  May as well finish it out.”

Check out the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer and new poster after the jump, and click here to read our full Comic-Con panel recap.  The film stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando BloomThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters on December 17th.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Comic-Con Panel Recap: Peter Jackson and Cast Look Back on the Entire Tolkein Saga and Tease Conclusion

by     Posted 89 days ago

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There’s no mistaking the fact that director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy adaptation is a true classic and will be a touchtone for many generations to come.  He’s recently returned to complete the J.R.R. Tolkein saga with a three-film adaptation of The Hobbit, and while the response from some fans hasn’t been as enthusiastic, the passion for the series remains.  At the Comic-Con panel for the final Hobbit installment, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Jackson took the stage earlier today along with screenwriter Philipa Boyens and cast members Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, and Graham McTavish.

Since this is (probably) the last time that Jackson will be presenting a Tolkein adaptation at Comic-Con, this panel was a mix between a look back at the entire LOTR saga and a tease of the new film, complete with the premiere of the first trailer and an excellent appearance by Stephen Colbert as the moderator.  Read my full The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Comic-Con panel recap after the jump.

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