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Archive for the ‘Studios’ Category

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.

(more…)

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.

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.

Warner Bros. to preview The Hobbit: There and Back Again at CinemaCon

cinemacon-logo 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.

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.

(more…)

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.

Andy Serkis set to direct new Jungle Book film

Andy Serkis Mo-Cap According to The Hollywood Reporter, Andy Serkis is set to take the director’s chair for a new live action version of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle book that Warner Bros. is underwriting.

Serkis will step into a role initially filled by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Babel”), who departed the project because of scheduling conflicts. (more…)

Posted in Andy Serkis, Director news, Hobbit Cast News, Studios, Warner Bros.

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ Visual Effects Reel from WETA Digital

The-Hobbit-The-Desolation-of-Smaug-FX-046WETA Digital has released a new video on their YouTube channel, showcasing the multitude of visual effects work done on the second chapter in Sir Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy – The Desolation of Smaug.

The elements covered range from the Kingdom of Erebor, Laketown and the Woodland Realm to Smaug, the barrel chase, and the CG character animation. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros., WETA Digital

WB’s Desolation of Smaug motion movie poster

DofS box setIn anticipation of the Home Video release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros. have created a very cool motion movie poster.

(more…)

Posted in Blu-Ray, Collectibles, Collectibles, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.

How The Return of the King won best picture and 11 Oscars

Complete ROTK 'For Your Consideration' Ads.

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

Box office numbers show the Middle Kingdom loves Middle-earth

1743690_10152048295894821_2137093463_n The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug delivered Warner Bros. its largest-ever three-day box office takings in China as the film finally debuted there over the weekend.

Some media outlets speculate that the sudden popularity of The Hobbit in China is due to intense air pollution driving the populace indoors as the government advised people to limit outdoor activities. Others suggest that it’s because Chinese just really like dragons. (more…)

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.