A team of academic researchers from the University of Waikato (New Zealand) and Ryerson University (Canada) is currently conducting a major international research project exploring audience engagement with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey prior to the film’s release. The survey will remain open until the TH: AUJ general release begins to roll out on December 12.

You can help them out by completing their anonymous survey! (They say it takes around 30 minutes, and I discovered that was fairly accurate estimate.)

Just click here to head straight to the survey, or read on below for some further background on their project and what’s involved.


In this survey we are keen to hear people’s thoughts, expectations and hopes relating to The Hobbit prior to its international release. We’d like to hear from people with all kinds of views, including the many fans of The Lord of the Rings movies, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, and Peter Jackson. And that means we would like to hear from you.

About us: We’re a team of academic researchers located at the University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand) and Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada). We are interested in the nature of audience reception, and in understanding why different people often have very different views and understandings of the same film. In the recent past, we’ve studied cross-cultural receptions of James Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar. Now, we’ve turned our attention to another major film production that already seems to be generating a diverse range of responses — Peter Jackson’s forthcoming film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

What is involved: Completing the survey will take around 30 minutes (yes, it’s a little long, sorry!), and involves a combination of sorting and ranking a selection of statements relating to The Hobbit, as well as a more traditional questionnaire with click responses and a few open ended questions where you can tell us what you really think, in your own words, saying as much or as little as you would like to share.

While the survey method may seem unfamiliar at first, most people find it quite straightforward. Please read the instructions carefully, and if you need to read them again you can do so by clicking ‘help me’, which you will find on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Unfortunately, those using Apple macs or ipads may not be able to complete the survey because it uses Flash, but if you have access to a PC or android tablet it should work fine. It probably won’t be possible to complete the survey on a smart phone, sorry.

If you do decide to complete the survey, clicking this link will take you to the formal consent agreement, which looks rather ominous but provides important details about your rights as a research participant. The most important things to know are that your participation is entirely voluntary, your answers will remain anonymous, and you can say as much or as little as you wish. We would really appreciate your involvement.

Go to survey