hobbit-lotr2-words-per-second Ringer Tajik tells us of this fascinating analysis of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and its two follow-ups by Mark Lee at Overthinking It that adds more fuel — and some hard numbers — to the gently simmering debate over the three-film decision that Jackson and the studios made in mid-2012.

The image at right, part of Lee’s analysis, is certainly food for thought.


I know I’m late to this party, but I finally got around to seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey after hearing much belly-aching over how the story of a single book is split into three separate movies: it seems like a blatant cash grab by the studios, a cynical move that put franchise movie economics ahead of things like storytelling and pacing.

After seeing the movie, I can definitely sympathize with these complaints. It felt slow at times, particularly during the multiple expository scenes in the first half and the interminably long action sequence in the second half. Most importantly, I felt like the story didn’t advance far enough to justify taking up an entire movie on its own, especially compared to the Lord of the Rings movies.

So me being me, I decided to put this issue into quantitative terms. Specifically, I wanted to compare the length of the Hobbit movie to that of the source text, and run the same analysis for the three Lord of the Rings movies.

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