The Lord of the Rings trilogy stands as a singular achievement in the history of cinema. Peter Jackson would have to be crazy to return to this world in the shadow of the enormous financial and artistic success of the Rings series. Thankfully Jackson is crazy, and just kicked off another Tolkien-based trilogy with the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. To explore the legacy of The Lord of the Rings and how The Hobbit matches up, I tried to capture how the series has evolved over the last decade with Middle-earth by the Numbers. The feature provides a numbers-based snapshot of each movie and its place in the filmography by looking at the box office, critical reception, and miscellaneous facts.
Hit the jump for a comprehensive review of Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, Return of the King, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
After breaking December’s one-day opening record with $37.5 million this Friday, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has now captured the December weekend record with its estimated $84.7 million debut. That total was spread out among a giant 4,045 locations and multiple platforms (including three different 3D formats), which helped to secure An Unexpected Journey a higher debut than any of director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings features.
|| The Hobbit
|| Rise of the Guardians
|| Life of Pi
|| Breaking Dawn Part 2
|| Wreck-It Ralph
|| Playing for Keeps
|| Red Dawn
|| Silver Linings Playbook
Nine years after The Return of the King wrapped up director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Middle Earth is back. An Unexpected Journey, the first of three films Jackson based on JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit, debuted yesterday in 4,045 locations. That included 3,160 3D and 461 ‘HFR’ 3D sites and was a record launch for December. No surprise, then, that The Hobbit is set to smash many more records this month. On its first full day in theatres, An Unexpected Journey took in an estimated $37.5 million, including $13 million from 3,100 midnight premieres. That ranks as the all-time best debut for December, topping the $34.4 million The Return of the King earned on its Wednesday, 2003 premiere. Weekend projections for The Hobbit are in the $95 million range, which would easily top I Am Legend‘s all-time December record of $77.2 million. An Unexpected Journey already took in $27.2 million overseas ahead of its US debut, making a $200 million worldwide total a real possibility by the end of this weekend. We’ll have full details tomorrow.
||Rise of the Guardians
||Breaking Dawn Part 2
We’ve known for some time now that the advanced tickets for Peter Jackson’s trilogy-starter The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey would go on sale Wednesday, November 7th, but an added treat for Tolkein fans has been announced. Also going on sale this Wednesday are tickets for all-day marathons of the superior extended editions of Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. A (lengthy) marathon of the extended editions took place last year in anticipation of the trilogy’s Blu-ray release, but if you were unable to attend and/or would like a theater-sized primer for The Hobbit, you’re in luck. Hit the jump for more details.
It’s finally here. For those who’ve held out hope for the extended editions of Lord of the Rings series on Blu-ray, Warner Brothers has now put out a fifteen-disc set of the franchise, with each film getting a new mastering. Peter Jackson’s triumphant version of the J.R.R. Tolkien books won big at the Oscars (seventeen awards in total, including best picture for Return of the King) and the box office, and did so for a reason: it’s great. Watching them again, the films still feel perfect, and though there may be some bad jokes, and perfectionists may wish that more of the books made it on screen (or were added to the extended cuts), the sheer scale that Jackson gets to by the final chapter is one of the great achievements of cinema. Yes, the guy who directed Bad Taste had the right stuff. One wonders if he’ll ever be as good again. Our review of The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition on Blu-ray follows after the jump.