Welcome friends to our innovative streaming video webcast TORn TUESDAY, starting in about an hour at 5pm Pacific Time right here on our Live Event page. We heard that Ian McKellen is officiating over Patrick Stewart’s wedding, and we have the scoop! Also today, as the wind reversed from the West, the ravens were seen flying back to The Mountain, and the Home Video Gods were pleased with our morning sacrifice, and lo! WE HAVE THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY out now on DVD and Blu-Ray Combo Pack (at least in North America)!!!! Your amiable host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway, with producer Justin “I Love Jar-Jar” Sewell will review the home video versions and discuss all the new packaging & content. Let us guide you to making the right choice! Don’t be confused by all those many packages and review sites. The fun begins *live* at 5:00pm Pacific with our built-in Barliman’s Chat Room right here [Live Event Page], where you can chat and bring your questions.Posted in Barlimans, Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Fans, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, LEGO, Merchandise, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, Warner Bros.
Archive for the ‘Warner Bros.’ Category
A new survey shows New Zealanders are divided on whether the Government’s subsidy to ensure the Hobbit was made in the country was value for money.
A UMR Online Omnibus Survey asked 1,000 New Zealanders aged over 18 whether they thought the subsidy was worthwhile. A narrow margin 42% to 38% thought it did represent value for money, with men, older New Zealanders and those on higher incomes more likely to be in favour. (more…)Posted in Hobbit Movie, New Zealand, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. is going after the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien hard in litigation over online slot machines and games tied to the lucrative Lord of the Rings and Hobbit properties.
In November, the Tolkien estate and and its book publisher HarperCollins filed an $80 million lawsuit that claimed that Rings/Hobbit producers including Warner Bros. had infringed the copyright in the books and breached a contract by overstepping their rights.
Rings/Hobbit rightsholder Saul Zaentz Co. already made their own counterclaim that the Tolkien estate has breached an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by going down this road. (more…)Posted in The Hobbit, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.
The release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is just around the corner. In anticipation, Warner Bros has released a series of teaser videos profiling some of the features and extras folks will get to enjoy. And a bit of a plug for the very first sneak peak at the Desolation of Smaug that people will be able to get on March 24! (more…)Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” became the 15th movie ever to pass the $1 billion mark in international tickets, pushed past the milestone by totals from China, the film’s last major market, where it opened 10 days ago. $301 million of that total is from U.S. ticket sales with the other $700 million coming from the rest of the world.
The studios behind the film (Warner Bros., New Line, MGM) issued a press release to make the announcement.
Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution said in the release, “We could not be more proud to have reached this amazing benchmark. Together with our partners at MGM and New Line, everyone at Warner Bros. congratulates Peter Jackson and his entire cast and crew on the extraordinary success of this film.”
Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures said, “From Berlin to Beijing, it is so gratifying to see how the release of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ has been such an event with audiences around the world. We know that moviegoers everywhere are already excited about the next film, as are we.”
The 14th film to do so pass the $1 billion mark was 2012′s “Skyfall,” a James Bond film. Ironically, the two films were the highest profile casualties of studio MGM’s debt crisis. The financial trouble of the studio, which has distribution rights to the Hobbit films and is home of the James Bond franchise, pushed both movies back. “The Dark Knight Rises,” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” were also released in 2012 and are in the select box office club as well. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” is another one of the films.
TheOneRing.net wrote on January 4 that the reports of the film’s financial disappointment were premature and wrong.
Next to the U.S., the top markets are Germany with $90 million, the U.K. with $84.3 million, France at $44.9 million, Australia’s $44.3 million and Russia’s $43.8 million. China with $37.3 million in 10 day has a chance to move past several of those films.
The next film in the series, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” is scheduled for release Dec. 13 and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” has recently been moved to Dec. 17, 2014. TheOneRing will have grass roots line party events for both films around the globe and hopefully Oscar night parties in Los Angeles for both as well.Posted in Hobbit Movie, LotR Movies, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.
The New Zealand Government has released a tranche of email exchanges between Sir Peter Jackson and ministerial officials, which lay bare his frustration over the deal eventually done to ensure The Hobbit was made here.
Earlier this month the Ombudsman ordered the Government to release documents about the deal it struck for the movies. Warner Bros’ New Line unit warned that the ruling jeopardised future film-making in New Zealand.
In a statement Jackson today said he welcomed the release of the documents, which he hoped would end “unfounded conspiracy theories” that a Hollywood studio had been dictating terms to a sovereign government.Posted in Director news, Hobbit Movie, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.
BoxOfficeMojo reports: The Hobbit opened to $18.1 million in China this weekend. According to Warner Bros., that’s the fourth-biggest three-day start ever for a U.S. movie. That brings the movie’s foreign total to $679.6 million (12th all-time); it’s also now less than $20 million away from passing $1 billion worldwide, which it should be able to do if China keeps it in theaters for a full two weeks.Posted in Hobbit Movie, MGM, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros is threatening that the Government’s release of confidential documents about the Hobbit union debate would be a “major disincentive” to future film-making in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Ombudsman has ordered the Government to release documents about the deal it struck to ensure the Hobbit movies were made in the country.
The Government secured the three movies by changing employment laws and beefing up the tax rebate sweetener for the productions, resulting in an additional $25 million in incentives for Warner Bros.
Unions fought the law changes and the Labour Party accused the government of chequebook legislation.Posted in Hobbit Movie, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Studios, Warner Bros.
Own The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Blu-ray Combo Pack 3/19. Available for early download in HD 3/12!
A cover for the DVD and Blu-ray version of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” has been making the rounds on the internet. The design, as you can see, features Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins as the most prominent figure with Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield close behind. The other dwarves sneak into the image but not prominently.
It is possible this image was leaked from the studios involved but it seems unlikely and this image isn’t a powerful “buy me” image from the movie. No word from any official channels has surfaced to say this is or isn’t fake so we advise not accepting it as the gospel truth at this point.
If any excellent photoshopping readers out there want to produce some imagined blu-ray covers it would be fun to run a collection of them here, so if you have a submission send them over to Spymaster@TheOneRing.net.
Dates for the initial offering are reported as March 19 with an Extended Edition in October but nothing official has been announced. The film will still be available in some theaters at that point. Date posted by retailers like Amazon are not reliable and have included books that haven’t been written yet previously. When official dates are released, you will find them reported here.
Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Merchandise, MGM, New Line Cinema, Richard Armitage, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.
The news was horrific. Essentially The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was dead on arrival and if not a box office failure at least a disappointment and this on top of less-than-stellar reviews. Maybe Peter Jackson was lost in Middle-earth. Maybe the public and critics were just tired of adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien. Maybe LOTR was lightning in a bottle. Turns out though rumors of the demise of The Hobbit were greatly exaggerated.
I will be dismissed as a website-contributing fanboy of course. I couldn’t possibly have a love for fantasy literature and Tolkien and an appreciation for the fantastic in cinema and still be objective. So decide for yourself if my viewpoint is skewed, but I think I am being objective, I am certainly not the only writer around who has his bare bias showing. It seems clear that some writers were rooting for and proclaiming failure prematurely.
None of this would matter except that bad buzz around a film does affect the film’s earnings. Bad reviews (more on that later) and then bad performance likely convinces casual viewers to stay away. These aren’t presented as opinions but as news with expert analysis.
Don’t believe me about the doom and gloom? I have some samples below:
Weekend Report: ‘Hobbit’ Plummets, Holds Off Slew of Newcomers
“Even though it did hold on to the top spot, though, The Hobbit’s performance was underwhelming. The Peter Jackson-directed Lord of the Rings prequel plummeted 57 percent to an estimated $36.7 million for a new total of $149.9 million.”
From: The Numbers.com
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey didn’t hold on as well as predicted falling 56% according to studio estimates to $36.94 million over the weekend for a total of $150.10 million after two. It should get to $250 million in the end, which is a solid number given the film’s production budget. However, it’s not a monster number, and many thought it would be a monster hit. Explaining why this happened will take some time, but the weaker than expected reviews is a good place to start. Another possible reason is just too much hype.”
The story sounds pretty reasonable, right? Except it isn’t and the sites where they originated, should know better. Folks on message boards were following his lead though, dubbing the film “The Flobbit” or “The Floppit” due to its perceived and inaccurate failures.
Remember those midnight screenings in mid-December that gave The Hobbit the largest ever December opening? That was never going to be duplicated the following weekend. But numbers are numbers right? Well yes, but numbers in perspective are even better numbers.
So Hobbit dropped 56% on the weekend. A plummet? Not when compared to the other top movies of the year. The Avengers dropped 50% and became the biggest blockbuster ever, The Dark Knight Rises dropped 61% (amidst a horrible shooting) The Hunger Games 61%, Skyfall 53% and the last Twilight film 69%. Those are currently the biggest films of 2012 financially. While “plummet” might be dictionary accurate, it is just exactly what could have been expected, especially in the busiest shopping weekend of the year. And for the record, to fully disclose, I liked all of those films save one, so I am not rooting against films financially. So yes, all the box office websites and film news reports should know better but mostly reported that it was disaster for The Hobbit. False.
There is another factor, just as important at work here. It was pre-Christmas weekend and movies perform much differently during that season. Films that open on the holiday work differently than films that open on traditional Fridays. Movie-business wisdom suggests, with a term called “multiples” that a film might make two or three times its opening weekend for the life of the movie. Christmas movies are “guaranteed” to make four times their opening and can hope for five or six times that number. The weekend before a Christmas-Eve Monday was way down at the box office for obvious reasons: People were busy getting ready for the holiday. Grocery stores and malls were packed, megaplexes suffered. Again, box office tracking websites should know better.
Here are some other samples including the first one from the guy who gets on CNN and lots of other places to be the “box office expert” talking head and advertises that widely. Again, I expect experts to know better and he was defending its numbers, call the box office “tough” a little prematurely.
‘The Hobbit’ and Its Tough Box Office Journey
“Despite a record-breaking opening, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey experienced a significant 57% drop off in its second week, bringing in an estimated $36.7 million, with an $8,952 per screen average. This brings The Hobbit’s ten-day gross to $149.9 million, tracking about 8% behind The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’s ten-day gross.”
Box office update: ‘The Hobbit’ plummets to $10.2M on Friday
“Sure, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey set a December record last weekend when it opened with $84.5 million, but after eight days in theaters, it’s now clear that the Lord of the Rings prequel is running well behind the final LOTR film, The Return of the King, which earned $377.8 in 2003 — without 3D and IMAX surcharges.
“The Hobbit dropped by a huge 73 percent from its first Friday to $10.2 million yesterday, which puts it on pace for a $33 million weekend . . . but The Hobbit is falling much faster, and it will need to hold up remarkably well over the holiday to have a shot at $300 million domestically.”
After 21 days in release the film will sit at $250+ million domestically with two thirds of its audience being from non-U.S. outlets with $514 million, bringing the total to comfortably over $760 million in three weeks.
Disaster averted, $300 million in sight.
After the second weekend and its reports of plummeting, the film finished in third place on Christmas to two movies with Christmas openings: Les Miserables and Django Unchained. More disaster reported. The Hobbit was again “fading fast” and destined to not only wind up a disappointment, but would it force the studios to force Jackson to make shorter films?
Ho-hum. By the weekend, The Hobbit was back on top winning its third weekend in a row while those two films came down off their debut highs. In full disclosure, I liked both of those films a lot too which brings us to another problem.
The reporting of box office totals comes full of Movie X vs. Movie Y drama but is rather ridiculous. Skyfall just passed the $1 billion mark, the 14th film ever to do so worldwide, but it didn’t “win” a chain of incredible weekends. It was an entertaining film with beautiful cinematography that people (including Hobbit viewers) liked and told friends about. I know the competition aspect of movie vs. movie is just too hard to pass up, but it doesn’t work and isn’t fair but it is effective at creating false drama and gets considerable clicks. I don’t attend one movie and see it as a victory over another film I didn’t see. Make all good movies, we will see them all.
While I am complaining, writers also should stop calling The Hobbit part of the LOTR series because it isn’t, and as the Tough Hobbit Journey story above wisely pointed out, it should be thought of as its own series. The Hobbit is also not a prequel, invented after-the-fact, to make more story or explain anything. It stands on its own and did so before there was a LOTR and was written first. Preaching to the choir here, I know.
Here are some examples:
“However, The Hobbit did suffer the biggest second weekend drop (57%) of any movie based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth series.” - IGN
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey once again dominated the overseas box office this weekend, though its noticeable drop suggests it doesn’t have any chance of it matching Return of the King in the long run.
“The Hobbit’s overseas total reached $288.5 million, and worldwide is now at $438.6 million. While it will hold well through the end of the year, it does now seem certain that the movie will fall well short of $1 billion worldwide.” - BoxOfficeMojo
So really? It isn’t Return of the King? Rather than report The Hobbit is making serious bank, despite your dire predictions, and it performed well though the holidays, the story is its failure to make $1 billion? And, if that were the point, with “only” $250 million to go to reach that number, when is it no longer “well short” and are we sure that will not happen? It is destined to have much less staying power than, say, Skyfall? Whatever the right and wrong of it all, I think the $600 million invested by movie studios in a product that has a three-year-yield window, would be pretty happy with a $750+ million earned in 21 days.
Next week we will be treated to tales and headlines of how the latest Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie “slays the competition” at the box office, unless it doesn’t finish first and then we can read how it was slain by other films, perhaps including The Hobbit.
None of this really matters for those who simply like the movie. Once the film is on safe financial footing, and the studio is happy to let Jackson do his thing twice more, who cares? Well I do for one. Accuracy is always important. Not shorthanded, easy reporting, but actual accuracy. That comes from my background as a journalist and as a film aficionado. From the same place comes my belief that word choices, like “plummeted” do matter. If you use that in a headline (and writers of stories often do not write headlines) make sure it really means that and it is accurate and isn’t just there to grab extra clicks.
TheOneRing.net and I don’t make any extra money from The Hobbit since we make none at all to begin with. I really hope all good films always find an audience and empower filmmakers to tell stories. (Speaking of movie goers, another topic for another day is my belief that critics are completely, wildly out of touch with film audiences but nobody needs to hear that rant – or let me know if you do.) But permit me one final point, that is directed very squarely at Warner Bros., MGM and New Line and the production company behind The Hobbit.
Dear studios and Team Jackson:
Please do the following if you want to make more money and at the same time want to throw fans a bone:
Send, to be added to digital copies of your digital movie, a teaser trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. People want to watch your movie again and again but reward them for repeat viewings with some idea of what is in store next December. Tack it on after the credits so folks can enjoy the film, sit through the credits and then thrill with the promise of things to come. You managed it almost a decade ago with the LOTR films, so no excuses. If you have a will, you can do it again and it would win a lot of hearts and minds.
Put away the party hats. With a new year dawning, the holiday movie season has essentially come to an end. The big winner this year: The Hobbit. In the two weeks the film has been in theaters it has grossed $690 million. (more…)Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, MGM, New Line Cinema, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.