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
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.
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014 are taking place in London this evening, and folks from The Hobbit cast are there in force! In fact, the host for the evening is none other than the very charming, smooth talking James Nesbitt. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has already taken the award for Best SciFi/Fantasy movie, with Richard Armitage, Adam Brown and Aidan Turner joining Nesbitt on stage to accept the award.
Turner was soon back on the stage to accept the Best Male Newcomer award (which seems odd, as even if we were only thinking of his career in terms of The Hobbit, this is already the second movie… but we’re happy to see any recognition for Hobbit cast members!) Empire reports that Bofur was also delighted for Kili: ‘”A gorgeous, multitalented Irishman winning an award for The Hobbit. I couldn’t be happier for him,” says Nesbitt sourly. We’re not sure he’s really so curmudgeonly.’
Posted in Adam Brown, Aidan Turner, Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, James Nesbitt, Martin Freeman, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Blu-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.
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?
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.
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.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. will preview of The Hobbit: There and Back Again at CinemaCon in two days time.
On Thursday at 2.30pm Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman, and president of international distribution Veronika Kwan Vandenberg will showcase a number of the studio’s films that are set to debut this year, including Godzilla, Blended, Edge of Tomorrow, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. CinemaCon is an annual gathering of USA cinema owners and film distributors. The 2014 edition is being held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (more…)
Posted in Director news, Events, Hobbit Movie, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Warner Bros.
Digital Trends takes a look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and the way director Peter Jackson brought the film’s fearsome, fire-breathing dragon to life.
Building a better dragon in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
From the moment that plans were first announced for a live-action adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, fans of the 1937 novel began pondering the ways in which the mighty dragon Smaug could be brought to life on the big screen with all the majesty of his literary counterpart. (more…)
Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Return of the King ‘For Your Consideration’ Ads for the 2004 Academy Awards.
How exactly did New Line go about mounting its campaign that 10 years ago won The Return of the King a history-making 11 Academy Awards? Vanity Fair interviewed many of those at New Line who were involved in the multi-million-dollar campaign, and the effect that the commercial and critical success had on the way Hollywood views fantasy films.
The biggest problem –– and this started with Fellowship –– was we had the dreaded F word; we were the fantasy movie, and there was no fantasy movies that ever won for best picture. Russell Schwartz, executive vice president of marketing at New Line Cinema in 2004.
Thanks to Ringer Boromir’s Bane for the heads-up. (more…)
Posted in Events, Headlines, Lord of the Rings, New Line Cinema, Oscar Parties, Peter Jackson, Return of the King, Studios
We’re delighted to bring you this excerpt from Cinefex’s forthcoming behind-the-scenes account of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Written by Joe Fordham, the 25-page feature draws on in-depth interviews with key effects artists who worked on the film, and is accompanied by behind-the-scenes photos and frame clips — many of them exclusive.
Here’s a little teaser for you! (more…)
Posted in Books Publications, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug