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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Box office 2014, TABA, "dark vs. light" films - any thoughts? *SPOILERS!!!!*
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Jan 4 2014, 6:22pm

Post #1 of 32 (1016 views)
Box office 2014, TABA, "dark vs. light" films - any thoughts? *SPOILERS!!!!* Can't Post

Because I'm sure PJ and Warner Brothers are thinking the same things.

Because on the one hand there are threads re anticipating? death scenes and who and how will die, and there's also comments (mine included) who don't relish the idea. Speaking for myself I can't see (at the moment) unlike AUJ and DOS this sounds like a movie I'd want to see over, and over, and over in a theater - depends on Laketown and the battle, I guess. But there are other scenes I can't picture myself just watching again, and again. (Things in the book were a source of frustration for me, from way back). Another thing that's troubling me is the idea that Bard and Legolas will get a huge amount of focus - Legolas (for me) because I personally never needed to know all the details of his mindset and how he became a more "tolerant" elf in LOTR.

So Fandango is listing Hunger Games 1 as the most anticipated film of the year, and that's a group of books where characters "check out" pretty often. Audiences these days seem unfazed by lots of carnage (and George Martin seems to get rid of main characters so often it's lost it's shock value IMO). RA himself has said re Thorin and audiences "they won't like him later" I think referring to the fact he becomes "physically violent" with Bilbo + he's greedy!!!!, so in theory I guess movie audiences aren't supposed to mind what happens to him (NOT).

On the other hand I look around at the DOS audiences I've been with, and there's plenty of kids - seems like the Hobbit still falls into the "family movie" category = $$$ especially at the holidays.
Kids who LIKE Thorin (they understand "king"), Fili, Kili, Tauriel....

So, anyone want to comment on TABA audiences? Do you think TABA will lose the "family audience" due to content? Audience loss due to the fact it's not, re the book, "happy?" Or is that irrelevant because the whole point is Bilbo and/or a prologue to LOTR? Also irrelevant in that you can't exactly call LOTR "happy" and it did just fine? Audience GAIN because it's the "last one" and there's this big love for "dark and gritty" treatments, seemingly? Will PJ and WB, make sure some of the more profound moments be kept short, because the "general" audience won't be paying to see that? Or, who cares what "general audiences" think anyway? They're not fans!!!! And you shouldn't be bringing your kids to these movies anyway,

Personally, I have no idea! Except I'm tempted to think PJ should let it be dark, if it's going to be, and add some goo and blood to those swords, and go for it, and risk the R rating.

book Gandalf

Jan 4 2014, 6:28pm

Post #2 of 32 (576 views)
death [In reply to] Can't Post

i just cant see them kllling off thorin, filli and kili. prepare for lots of non book madness i suspect!

This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party.


Jan 4 2014, 6:35pm

Post #3 of 32 (508 views)
Kids mature [In reply to] Can't Post

Kids mature at an alarming rate and those that go to see TaBA will be two years older than they were when they watched AUJ. I don't expect PJ to ramp up the gore, nor to go excessively dark, but it will be somewhat more serious. The audience needs to forgive Thorin at the end so he won't go beyond the pale. I think he will move the tone more towards LotR but he won't get very close to it.

I think the family audiences are locked in now. Maybe new 6- or 7-year olds won't be taken, but those who were 6 or 7 in 2012 will.


Jan 4 2014, 6:42pm

Post #4 of 32 (559 views)
dare I say it..... [In reply to] Can't Post

on a Tolkien forum yet, but yeah, I'd like PJ to change up the ending. I didn't like the book ending either, was a kid when I read it, but I liked the cranky Thorin and the tumbling, "greedy" dwarves.
Even as a kid I thought it was pretty harsh, and the ending troubling - as well as some other issues.

And I can see all kind of ways a modified ending could be filmed, including sending Thorin, Kili, and Fili back into exile e.g. they can never rule due to the dragon sickness and/or they are too badly injured - so there's a bittersweet ending - gain, but loss. But Tolkien's not around to discuss concepts of redemption, hope, changing your value systems from "things to family" etc. and what he would have done if he had rewritten the Hobbit.

I wish Tolkein were. But it sounds as tho PJ & co. have already filmed the saddest stuff, from cast comments that have been made by EL, RA, and LE.


Jan 4 2014, 6:43pm

Post #5 of 32 (507 views)
I know they want to make as much money as possible... [In reply to] Can't Post

But, I honestly don't think it matters. TaBA will make tons of money either way, I predict. But I don't think they're even worried about it. They have to tell the story they want to tell and, even if TaBA doesn't make a cent, they've still made an extremely successful box office trilogy. So I don't think it matters, just let PJ make the film he wants to make.

"This day we FIGHT!"

Grey Havens

Jan 4 2014, 6:58pm

Post #6 of 32 (491 views)
I think... *spoilers for book/TABA* [In reply to] Can't Post

it makes no sense at all to go for an R rating. Maybe family audiences would opt not to see TABA a second time owing to content no matter what, but they would stay away in droves even from first viewings with an R rating.

Not even the LotR films (more "real" and "gritty" in the opinion of many fans disappointed in AUJ) had an R rating. Nor did they suffer from the lack of it.

Also, I don't see what the advantage is of adding lots of gore to the film, anyway. Having deaths in it that might make audience members of any age sad, sure, that's in the source material and fits the story, I both want and expect them to occur. But sad deaths can happen even in G rated films. TABA should be PG-13, like the other five Jackson Middle Earth movies.

Finally, it is my decision what films I should be bringing my children to, and I have every intention of bringing mine to TABA. Nor am I the only parent who plans to.

Tol Eressea

Jan 4 2014, 7:04pm

Post #7 of 32 (463 views)
It will not lose the family audience [In reply to] Can't Post

It will be done in a way that is PG13 and appropriate.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


Jan 4 2014, 7:10pm

Post #8 of 32 (457 views)
Children's stories have contained death for the majority of their history [In reply to] Can't Post

However the idea of seeing characters visually eviscerated to the extent of requiring a higher rating is definitely not one to worry about.


Jan 4 2014, 7:12pm

Post #9 of 32 (465 views)
The audience is very broad one ... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and that won't change. There are the five demographics older men an older women (who may or may not bring children or grandchildren - the fifth demographic) and younger men and younger women. The The PG13 (US), or M rating here, won't change and it certainly won't go to R (US) or MA here. As long as the death scenes are not too sudden/shocking or gory it will be fine.


Jan 4 2014, 7:21pm

Post #10 of 32 (474 views)
Sure... [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's not kill off Thorin, but injure him so much that he is confined to a robotic wheelchair with only his scarred head visible, and his only means of communication is a light that beeps "yes" and another light that beeps "no", and he winds up being sent to Lothlorien where he can live out the rest of his days in an elf-magic induced illusion of health and prosperity.Tongue

...a far green country under a swift sunrise. As the ship approached the edge of the world and the undying lands came into view, Frodo could not help but wonder: "How long? How long? How long to the Point of Know Return?

Tol Eressea

Jan 4 2014, 7:23pm

Post #11 of 32 (447 views)
R rating [In reply to] Can't Post

They will bring it under the R rating. R rating in the U.S. means substantially less Box Office. PJ and WB are not going to do that. It's just the way it is.

Last year Ted I believe was the only R rated film to land in the top ten of Box Office grosses.

There are studies that show there is very little difference in violence between the R and the PG13 rating. The issue though is money. That's what it comes down to. WB and PJ will make sure it comes in at the PG13 rating (which I believe actually was developed in response to the Indiana Jones first movie if I recall).

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13

Tol Eressea

Jan 4 2014, 7:50pm

Post #12 of 32 (463 views)
Sorry guys... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but RA said in this: http://sagharboronline.com/...chard-armitage-27500 interview that the Thorin death scene was filmed and will happen.

Although it is quite sad and has even given me some reservations about seeing TABA in the theater (because of the emotional gravity) I think Thorin, Kili, and Fili's death's are necessary to the storyline because if they don't all die then Dain won't become king under the mountain and who knows what effect all of that could have on future events? Both Tolkien and PJ have something in common in that they seem to be fond of having everything be connected somehow. Everything happens for a reason. Even the sad things.Unimpressed


Jan 4 2014, 8:05pm

Post #13 of 32 (422 views)
Not sure why you are apologising with 'sorry guys' [In reply to] Can't Post

...but I think we are all agreed the three dwarves will die but that own affect the censorship rating.

Tol Eressea

Jan 4 2014, 8:14pm

Post #14 of 32 (402 views)
If it ends up being R I will be dissapointed, but I don't think it will happen [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think Bo5a is meant to be bigger or worse than the battles in ROTK so if ROTK wasn't R rated then neither will TABA.

If nothing else, I don't think it's necessary. To basically repeat what I already said, ROTK featured the worst battles of the War of the Ring both in their violence and darkness and feeling of hopelessness. Need I remind everyone of the decapitated human heads getting flung over the wall of Minas Tirith? What about all the other battles in ROTK, especially that one in Osgilliath when Gothmog first showed up (along with several of the other battles)? Or when Eowyn beheaded the fell beast? etc. etc. Yet ROTK was still PG-13. If that's the case there ain't no way their going to make TABA rated R. There's just no reason for it, unless they do something totally out of character for both TH and LOTR and make Bo5a ridiculously gory. Again, there's just no reason for it. At all.

I saw this one reviewer on a family movie review website say that he thought DOS was the most violent of any of the LOTR trilogies so far. IMO that's ridiculous! TNT ran a marathon of the LOTR trilogy on New Year's day which I watched and then I saw DOS for the second time the very next day. There is really no comparison. Sure, DOS is violent and deserves the PG-13 rating, but even FOTR has some scenes (read: the entirety of Boromir's death scene) that are darker, more violent and more upsetting than any individual depiction of violence in DOS. LOTR was also bloodier overall than TH.

Anyway, no, I don't want an R rating. It's not necessary and I think it would ultimately hurt the profits more than the studio would want or could even afford.

(This post was edited by Eruvandi on Jan 4 2014, 8:19pm)


Jan 4 2014, 8:17pm

Post #15 of 32 (395 views)
I'm not sure that's much of a factor. [In reply to] Can't Post

It doesn't really have any impact on the LOTR film adaptations who ends up being king (I.e. From that perspective Fili could serve just as well as Dain)

But I suspect all three are for the chop, nonetheless.

Superuser / Moderator

Jan 4 2014, 8:51pm

Post #16 of 32 (361 views)
Interesting thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

I got to thinking that the Harry Potter movies might be a good comparison because they started out very lighthearted, then got more serious including killing off some major characters. For grins, the gross revenue of the HP movies according to Box Office Mojo (in millions of U.S. dollars):

$ 796.7 Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
$ 879.0 Chamber of Secrets (2002)
$ 896.9 Goblet of Fire (2005)
$ 934.4 Half-blood Prince (2009)
$ 939.9 Order of the Phoenix (2007)
$ 960.3 Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 (2010)
$ 974.8 Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
$1,341.5 Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 (2011)

It doesn't indicate whether the numbers are adjusted for inflation, but even so the darker movies grossed as much if not more than the lighter ones. So, I'd say TABA has a good chance to gross at least as much as AUJ and DOS if not more, and that the deaths of major characters probably won't be a deciding factor.

Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.

"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase

(This post was edited by Altaira on Jan 4 2014, 9:15pm)


Jan 4 2014, 9:07pm

Post #17 of 32 (354 views)
You [In reply to] Can't Post

Watch too much Star Trek.


Jan 4 2014, 9:17pm

Post #18 of 32 (343 views)
I doubt that the darkness of the ending will affect the box office of TaBA, [In reply to] Can't Post

and I'd be very surprised if PJ eliminates any of the tragic deaths. He will probably add some (Radagast and Tauriel maybe?). But the book actually ends on a happy note with Bilbo back at home safe and sound.

Look at LotR which had the deaths of Boromir and Theoden amongst others, and the permanent departure of several characters. I don't see The Hobbit as being any darker.

I expect TaBA to contain a huge battle, with a number of deaths including Thorin and his heirs. It will be gut wrenching but I hope it will also be great.

Do kids not read or watch anything sad anymore? Back in the olden days when I was a kid, I read books and saw movies that terrified me or made me cry my eyes out. I think it was good for me.Wink


Jan 4 2014, 9:36pm

Post #19 of 32 (319 views)
PG 13 for sure. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm pretty sure PJ isn't about to throw R rated gore at us for his last film in this trilogy.

Death-wise we know the "3" are going to die, each of the actors has mentioned filming their death scene. But I do hope that Jackson keeps to the book here and doesn't have Thorin die on the battlefield, but I'm pretty confident he'll want to give Thorin and quiet emotional ending. Tauriel could and should die IMO, while Radagast can just "retire" and not weigh down the audience even more with another death.

I also expect Balin to have a very emotional role. As the movies have shown us, PJ really is making Balin a great character, and I expect some foreshadowing of his death.

My name is Name, which, name-wise, is a much better name than your first name, last name, or name's name could ever plan on naming themselves.


Jan 4 2014, 10:55pm

Post #20 of 32 (298 views)
ROTK Tops the List [In reply to] Can't Post

for the movie with the most kills. And it beats the second movie on the list by a lot. If ROTK didn't rate an R, then TABA probably won't.


Jan 4 2014, 11:17pm

Post #21 of 32 (256 views)
Same here.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember choosing 'The Last Battle' in the library just for the title - I must have been about nine, and it was the first Narnia book I read. All my favourites had something sad in them

Tol Eressea

Jan 5 2014, 12:37am

Post #22 of 32 (249 views)
No offense Avandel... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but sometimes I'm amazed by the extent to which some people want to see this story modified. To me, wishing for Thorin and his nephews to survive is like wishing for Legolas to kill Smaug.


Jan 5 2014, 2:30am

Post #23 of 32 (221 views)
I'm not offended, but thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

Most folks on TORn are pretty respectful, and as a reader myself I can get quite uneasy when "adaptations" are made of works I love, or what I call "butchered" such as some adaptations of Shakespeare. I also understand that the Hobbit is so beloved that Tolkien I take it opted not to re-edit the work. Conversely as well there were changes made with the LOTR movies that I still fret over, every viewing.

For me only, as I found the Hobbit book troubling from the beginning on several counts, I am more content than many? some? to see the story and characters treated differently in a film. There are many questions I would have asked Tolkien re the Hobbit book, especially re his Catholic background.

The posts by other folks re children and the concept of death are interesting. I had forgotten all about Harry Potter, tho I remember being shocked at the end. Hope my original post didn't sound as tho I wanted to have a TABA swimming in gore (I definitely don't), it's just a little disconcerting when a warg gets stabbed and the blade is shiny clean. Since children DO know when there is a cut there is some bleeding.

PS. LOL - Legolas killing Smaug - that wouldn't surprise me in a remake years and years from now....w. an arrow to the eye, no doubt.


Jan 5 2014, 2:35am

Post #24 of 32 (210 views)
good points IMO [In reply to] Can't Post

and I forgot about the heads over the wall. And after many viewings Boromir's end is still very hard to watch happen.


Jan 5 2014, 2:52am

Post #25 of 32 (209 views)
True [In reply to] Can't Post

Tho for myself I have reservations about seeing in a theater, true for me of any emotionally grave film - I prefer to watch those without a lot of people around.

Very sure tho folks like me are a smaller group that definitely will not affect the box office at all, any more than those who opted not to see DOS because they didn't like AUJ seems to have affected the box office.

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