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EXCLUSIVE – Luke Evans talks to TheOneRing.net

luke-evans-1With just a week to go until the Home Video release (in the US at least - check our post here for full details of when the Home Video comes out in different countries) of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, TheOneRing.net has recently had the chance to catch up with some of the film’s lead actors. Last week staffer greendragon spoke to Luke Evans about his role as Bard the Bowman, about using his native accent on-screen, and about stepping in to big shoes (or perhaps a big coffin?) to take on the role of Dracula. Here’s what he had to say:

(more…)

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Luke Evans, Merchandise, Press Conferences, The Hobbit

The Hobbit: There and Back Again release date pushed back to premiere at Comic-Con in July 2015

uploads_d08fee9f-5517-430c-9698-135855d7b943-the-hobbit-there-and-back-again In shocking news, Warner Bros. today announced that the release of The Hobbit: There And Back Again will be pushed back so the final film of Bilbo Baggins’ adventure can premiere at Comic-Con in July 2015. The new worldwide release date is July 29, 2015.

Premieres during Comic-Con International in San Diego are nothing new. “The 300” premiered in Petco Park a few years ago, heralded by bare-chested Spartans throughout the week-long convention. “Cowboys and Aliens” also held their premiere in San Diego during the convention, with DreamWorks booking an theater complex for the event.

This was an April Fool gag, and is not a true story. It is false, and all details have been invented. We hope that everyone enjoyed the joke.

Early details hint that Jackson and Warner Bros. are planning something on an even-larger scale: a massive week-long Middle-earth-themed carnival of events and activities that turn TABA’s debut into “the largest-ever world premiere of a film”. We’ve also noted that it sets Warner Bros. up for a strong one-two punch at the box office with the release of Pan just two weeks earlier.

Readers will, of course, recall that the date for The Hobbit: There And Back Again has, already been pushed back once from July to December 2014. I think we can all sincerely hope that this is the last shift in date for the film!

The official press release follows:

“The Hobbit: There and Back Again” to be released July 29, 2015 and will premiere at Comic-Con International

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Posted in Comic Rumors, ComicCon, Contests, Conventions, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Fool, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie Rumors, Meet Ups, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Warner Bros.

Richard Armitage talks The Hobbit: There And Back Again

Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage

This interview with Richard Armitage was conducted at the Empire Awards the other day. (Thanks to those who corrected my mistake!).

In it Richard Armitage speaks about the conclusion of the Hobbit adventure for Jackson and his crew, that he thinks There And Back Again will be shorter and his thoughts on why Tolkien’s stories continue to endure.

I think Tolkien was, obviously, the first writer that really explored fantasy in a way that has stood the test of time because he writes … legend, I believe. He doesn’t write something that doesn’t feel like it’s not rooted in this world. and that’s what brings people back to it time and again. Because it just feels real.

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Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien

Blu-ray.com reviews ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ 2D Blu-ray release

DofS blurayBlu-ray.com has posted their review of the 2D Blu-ray release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. High marks are given for both video (4.5 out of 5) and audio quality (5 out of 5) – and we also get a closer glimpse at what bonus features are offered on this Theatrical Blu-ray/DVD edition.

Of particular note is the inclusion of last year’s The Desolation of Smaug Live Event, as well as a collection of trailers for the film (both of which were previously unadvertised for this release). (more…)

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.

No pick-up filming as Jackson prepares to farewell Middle-earth

Thorin Bus Shelter HDOS-1 For those hoping for more pick-ups for The Hobbit, it seems as though we’ve reached the end. In an interview in Las Vegas, Richard Armitage indicated that filming was complete, with only motion capture and ADR work left to be done.

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Posted in Events, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie Rumors, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Warner Bros.

Getting to know Royd Tolkien

RoydTolkien02Welcome to this months “Getting to know you” Q&A, this month we’re talking to the wonderful Royd Tolkien.

I received a lot of questions for Royd, which I have divided into three sections, reflecting peoples main areas of interest.  I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did conducting it.  Cheers Kel x

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Posted in Fans, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Tolkien Family

CinemaCon Hobbit presentation reveals (un)-surprisingly little

cinemacon-logo People hoping for a big reveal about The Hobbit: There and Back Again at CinemaCon 2014 will probably come away disappointed by the news that, well, there wasn’t much news at all on that front.

Warner Bros. closed out their 2.30pm presentation with a special recorded message from Peter Jackson, then rolled a new production diary. (more…)

Posted in Conventions, Director news, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson, Production, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Warner Bros.

Deadline estimates The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug reaps $134.1 million profit for Warner Bros.

Desolation of Smaug Poster Box office reporting focuses heavily on ticket sales and revenue numbers. So it’s no secret that (according to latest Box Office Mojo numbers) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has pulled in just over $944 million in ticket sales.

Profit figures, on the other hand, tend to be more opaque and mysterious.

However, movie website Deadline | Hollywood has crunched some numbers with a number of “experts” as part of its effort to unearth the most valuable blockbuster of 2013. By its calculation, the second film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit sequence has (thus far) made a profit of $134.1 million.

Just how did they do it?

 


desolation of smaug gross profit estimate
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug profit breakdown. Source: Deadline | Hollywood.

Explaining the earnings

Disregard the calculations for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in the second column — it’s part of the head-to-head thing that Deadline is conducting.

The first thing to realise (and it took me a little bit of research to work it out) is that that enormous $944 million global box office is split a number of different ways. Nominally at least (Hollywood accounting practises are notoriously dubious), distributors and theatres are taking a goodly chunk of that gross.

How big?

Well, according to Deadline’s figures, USA domestic distributors and theatres are taking just under half the domestic box office, while Warner Bros. sees a mere 42.9% of the foreign take and as little as 23.4% of the Chinese gross. The remainder — named Theatrical Rental — is Warner Bros. income. Thus, of that $944.2 million, only $420.3 will make its way to Warner Bros. coffers.

That’s why, according to Deadline, even with other revenues (telly and etc.) factored in, Warner Bros.’ gross revenue from The Desolation of Smaug will hit only (only!) $795.6 million.

Accounting for the expenses

Deadline puts Desolation of Smaug’s production cost at $260 million. I’m not entirely certain how they arrived at that, I’ve seen figures as low as $225 million, and others as high as $295 million (the latter admittedly including printing and advertising costs).

Yet Deadline lists printing and advertising (domestic and international) costs as an additional $155 million.

It’s a puzzle, but this article on io9 gives some insights.

According to Contrino, the Print & Advertising (P&A) costs of a movie can be incredibly high — for a small $20 million film, the promotional budget can be higher than the production budget. That’s because those films are often romantic comedies or kids’ movies, which are cheap to make but still need a lot of promotion. For a film which cost between $35 and $75 million to make, the P&A budget will most likely be at least half the production budget. And the numbers only go up with bigger films. “If the studio spends a lot on the budget, they’re going to want to protect that investment by advertising it heavily,” says Contrino.

If Deadline is correct, the amount invested on marketing The Desolation of Smaug’s around the world clocked in at more than half its estimated production budget.

Rights payments presumably include royalties to the late Saul Zaentz’s Middle-earth Enterprises as well as to Tolkien Estate, while Participations refers to payments to actors, writers and directors as a percentage of either gross or net profit. And overheads seems to be calculated at a straight 15% of the production budget.

According to Deadline, all these factors mean that the total cost of making, marketing and putting The Desolation of Smaug on screen add up to a sizeable $661.4 million.

Return on investment

Which brings us to the bottom line — a profit of $134.1 million. As Deadline calculates, that’s a cash return on cash invested of 20% (134m/661m x 100). It’s a return on investment that as best I can tell compares favourably against other forms of investment — the 10-year (to December 31, 2013) performance of the the S&P 500 is an average annual total return of 7.40%. US bonds, as gauged by the Barclays Aggregate U.S. Bond Index, average 4.55% annually over the same period.

The numbers for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (an ROI of an unbelievable 200%) illustrate even more starkly (in big, fat $$$ signs) the reason studios relentlessly chase blockbuster success.

Of course, the flipside is the greater risk involved. Stocks and bonds, generally, offer a safer investment. For every profitable film, there’s a long list of grand commercial failures that see studios losing tens of millions of dollars. And that’s the hard calculus under all that creative accounting.

Note: This is mostly an attempt to puzzle out the numbers. I am not an expert (in this area at least). If there’s anything I’ve missed, or seems out of whack, leave a note in the comments or drop me a note at demosthenes at the onering dot net.

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.

Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Book Characters vs LOTR/Hobbit Movie Characters

BooksVsMoviesOur latest Library feature is a question piece that’s been rolling around my head for the last couple of months.  As anyone who knows me well, I’m an extremely curious little cat and enjoy hearing other peoples opinions on a topic, both for and against, so with that in mind:

Book Characters versus Movie Characters

Have your perceptions of characters changed after seeing them on the big screen?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, ever since I interviewed Peckish Owl and she replied to my question about her favourite characters in LOTR/The Hobbit with;

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Posted in Characters, Fans, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community

Today is Tolkien Reading Day. Which Tolkien book did you pull open?

Ringer Nelson's favourite Tolkien book -- a 75th anniversary limited edition copy of The Hobbit.

Ringer Nelson’s favourite Tolkien book — a 75th anniversary limited edition copy of The Hobbit.

Today is Tolkien Reading Day.

As part of our celebration, we asked Ringers to post a photo of the favourite Tolkien book that they own on our Facebook page, and the results were precious! (more…)

Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Headlines, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Reading Day

How would have Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit looked as a duology?

The Hobbit Bag End Door Originally, Peter Jackson intended his adaptation of The Hobbit to be a two-film effort — a duology.

We’ll never know for certain how it would have turned out, but in this feature TORn writer Captain Salt brings together the known facts to give us some idea of just how it might have shaped up.

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Posted in Adam Brown, Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Barry Humphries, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Connolly, Casting Rumors, Cate Blanchett, Conan Stevens, Dean O'Gorman, Director news, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Graham McTavish, Green Books, Guillermo Del Toro, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie Rumors, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, James Nesbitt, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Callen, John Rawls, Ken Stott, Lawrence Makoare, Lee Pace, Locations Sets, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Mark Hadlow, Martin Freeman, MGM, Mikael Persbrandt, Peter Hambleton, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, Rob Kazinsky, Ryan Gage, Saoirse Ronan, Stephen Fry, Stephen Hunter, Studios, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Warner Bros., William Kircher

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ now available on iTunes!

Hobbit iTunes 3The Blu-ray and DVD editions of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug won’t be released for another two weeks – but for those of you who just can’t wait any longer, the film is now available on iTunes.

Along with the film, you’ll also gain access to the bonus features “Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set” (In the Company of The Hobbit & All in a Day’s Work) and “New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth: Part 2″. (more…)

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.