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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
So the Hobbit would have been a real failure if they stuck with two films??
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Salmacis81
Grey Havens


Aug 3 2013, 7:44pm

Post #26 of 37 (211 views)
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I have a feeling that Jackson planned for 3 films all along... [In reply to] Can't Post


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It seems obvious to me that a two-film version would have been horribly cramped.


Why else would he have decided from the get-go to cram in so many characters that had absolutely nothing to do with the story?


dormouse
Half-elven


Aug 3 2013, 8:04pm

Post #27 of 37 (218 views)
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So many? [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't see any characters that have nothing to do with the story.

A few who aren't in the book - Legolas being the obvious example, and people who've seen the previous films might reasonably have wondered where he was if they hadn't included him. Alfrid - no idea what he's doing yet but he is a complete invention. Bain - not in The Hobbit but created by Tolkien. Tauriel is a reworked version of the Captain of the King's guard; Azog is mentioned in the book though his role and story have been changed. The council of wizards is mentioned in the book and Tolkien says elsewhere that Saruman and Galadriel were part of it. Radagast is mentioned in the book.

That kind of development is part of the process of adaptation. Part of the storytelling. Could have been done in other ways, of course, but the fact is that this is the way Peter Jackson and co have chosen to do it.

Personally, I doubt that he intended three films from the beginning. First, because he wasn't in charge from the beginning - Guillermo del Toro was directing, and the initial plan for a one-film Hobbit and a bridge film evolved pretty quickly into a two film Hobbit with him at the helm - that suggests to me that it was a natural evolution. The more they thought about it and looked into the story, the more they wanted to add. Stands to sense, I'd say, that at the time when publicity material was released showing the barrel escape as the end of the first film that was where they intended to end it - else why waste all that money? And it seems to be true to the way Peter Jackson works - his films seem to grow and change in the making. So I doubt if it was a conspiracy - just the way things happened.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 3 2013, 8:27pm

Post #28 of 37 (208 views)
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Despicable Me 2 has still earned well over $300 million less than AUJ [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As Dispicable Me 2 passed AUJ in the box office I tried to sort out what made a group of beloved characters with a titanic budget yield such a weak result.



AUJ earned $1.017 billion, whereas DM 2 is at $692 million. Doesn't seem like such a weak result to me.


'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


nuck
Rivendell


Aug 3 2013, 9:01pm

Post #29 of 37 (196 views)
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More talking and fewer explosions [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
... which made what AUJ did at the box office could be said to have produced a 'weak result' no matter what other films brought in.

AUJ's was a very strong performance from a very good film which a lot of people liked, despite the baggage of negative comment and negative comparisons that preceded it. It seems obvious to me that a two-film version would have been horribly cramped.

I'm not sure that I understand your distinction between storytelling and CGI either. CGI is neither more nor less than a means of storytelling - a tool in the hands of a director without which a live action film like The Hobbit simply wouldn't be possible. You want Smaug and you want the Battle and you want Dol Guldur and you want Beorn - but what about giant spiders (I don't want them myself, I have to admit, but I know they are part of the story) - what about all the fantastic and wonderful things that are part of the story? What about the simple fact that the main characters need constant up or down scaling to appear the size they're meant to be? I begin to wonder if those of us who grew up before there was such a thing as CGI are the only ones who appreciate how amazing it is! Wink
The problem I have isn't the existence of the CGI, just the reliance on it. Can you think of a scene from AUJ as haunting as the hobbits witnessing the elves departure for the Grey Havens as the beginning of FOTR? Would you say that the cartoon Azog was a more menacing villain than the costumed Nazgul for Fellowship? Was the animated chase through the Goblin town better than the flight though Moria? Was the stone giant battle really very close to what was in the book, and did it actually make for a better film. I think PJ looked at Avatar and the Avengers and thought that more and bigger CGI choices were necessary for his blockbuster, and it turned out not really. This is a fairy tale mostly about some dwarves and a dragon. The character scaling was forced perspective and using outsized body doubles, not really CGI. Don't get me wrong, I don't think they have any choice for Smaug, Beorn, or the large battles but to use CGI. But I think the images overwhelmed the characters in AUJ, and when that happens, it starts to resemble Transformers and gets further away from what made LOTR work for so many different people. I liked the use of CGI in FOTR because it was mostly confined to Moria sandwiched between 2 1/2 hours of acting. I don't mind the three film concept at all. A less campy Radagast, a more conservative take on the stone giants, a bit less of the Azog revenge theme (they made him a main character) and more humans and less CGI in Goblin town, would have brought it back closer to the LOTR . A lot of people did like AUJ, just less than the original 3 movies. It may be the absence of human characters made it too much of a video game to those who aren't real fantasy buffs. DOS with Laketown, Bard, and a lot more of elves will show a different aspect of the story. I am predicting less cartoonish action in DOS, simply because there is the human and elf interactions.



(This post was edited by nuck on Aug 3 2013, 9:02pm)


patrickk
Rohan

Aug 3 2013, 9:56pm

Post #30 of 37 (180 views)
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I hope you are not just counting the US Box Office [In reply to] Can't Post


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I think it would've made a perfectly good two-part story




As Dispicable Me 2 passed AUJ in the box office I tried to sort out what made a group of beloved characters with a titanic budget yield such a weak result.


The only way you could have said this is if you counted the US Box Office only. Interestingly nearly three questers of the Hobbit Box Office ($1.1b) came from markets outside the US while only 50% the other move you mentioned ($0.6b). I could be provocative and suggest this may reflect the tastes of relative audiences.


dormouse
Half-elven


Aug 3 2013, 10:02pm

Post #31 of 37 (179 views)
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But the flight through Moria was heavily CGI... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and dare I mention Balrog? On of the most breathtaking realisations of an 'unfilmable' book character I've ever seen.

I don't actually buy the idea that Azog was 'cartoon'. Didn't look the least bit like a cartoon to me and did look very menacing - and don't forget, that performance was actor driven just as Gollum's was - and I think they're not getting anywhere near enough credit for the astonishing realisation of Gollum this time round simply because people have seen him before. And because so many seem to have decided that CGI is the enemy. But I didn't see anything cartoony or video-game-y in AUJ. I did see some superb acting and some amazing artwork. It's a different story. There's no point looking at LotR for comparison and saying the elves were more haunting, the Nazgul were more menacing. In the Hobbit the 'baddies' are orcs and the book doesn't have that lyrical, melancholy which clings to the later elves. The elves in the Hobbit sing 'Tra-la-la-lalley' and tease dwarves about their beards. The Hobbit has more fairytale elements which need CGI to bring them to life onscreen. That's just how it is.


patrickk
Rohan

Aug 3 2013, 10:50pm

Post #32 of 37 (163 views)
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Ooops sorry (typo) I meant there quarters of the Box Office was from Outside the US [In reply to] Can't Post


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In Reply To

In Reply To

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I think it would've made a perfectly good two-part story




As Dispicable Me 2 passed AUJ in the box office I tried to sort out what made a group of beloved characters with a titanic budget yield such a weak result.


The only way you could have said this is if you counted the US Box Office only. Interestingly nearly three questers of the Hobbit Box Office ($1.1b) came from markets outside the US while only 50% the other move you mentioned ($0.6b). I could be provocative and suggest this may reflect the tastes of relative audiences.


The point to remember is that this is a New Zealand film with predominantly, British (Lots), Australian (Kate and Hugo), and NZ (Manu) leads. It is not until later films do we see some North American actors (Lee Pace US) Evangeline Lilly (Canadian) come in. The global nature of the flm may account for it global appeal.


nuck
Rivendell


Aug 3 2013, 10:58pm

Post #33 of 37 (168 views)
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Depends on where you set the bar. [In reply to] Can't Post

Despicable Me has been out only 4 weeks so the final WW numbers will end up a lot closer. We are also comparing AUJ to a ROM cartoon sequel that cost only $76 m to make. If you were looking at just FOTR as a yardstick, which should be conservative as LOTR introduced a whole generation of non readers to Middle Earth, and if you believe in the accuracy of the Movie Times BO adjusted for inflation, then the expectation would be about $440 m US gross for the same number of viewers. Perhaps $1.5 b for the WW results. This fits the inflationary range suggested by recent films like Hunger Games and Iron Man 3. About 30% less people seem to have attended AUJ as FOTR and that has to be driven by word of mouth. If they make any profit at all before DVD and PPV sales then it technically isn't a bust, but generally if any enterprise is earning the same money in 2013 as they were in 2001 they are not enjoying close to the same level of success.

More people waiting for PPV rather than simply not seeing it I expect, but still a reflection of its popularity, as people still came out to theatres in force for the comic book movies. I imagine with stronger reviews DOS could easily exceed $460 m and $1.6 b though as sequels will often outperform the original (including with LOTR). I am sure the result was an eye opener for the studios and PJ and they will make some adjustments where the film was found to be most wanting (I think they rely on focus groups rather than message boards :) ), but they will not take their eyes off the prize just because it is mostly in the can.
Even assuming they were not making edits in response to the revenue, consider how different TTT was from FOTR. Jackson has shown he will change his emphasis and offer a far different vision from episide to episode. Based on this alone I am not personally as concerned with whether DOS will be better or will earn more. I do wonder though, if the earlier involvement with the script by GDT confused the PJ vision a bit so it wasn't a clean Jackson/Boyens effort, but rather tainted by incomplete contribution from Guillermo. Fresh ideas can be great, but maybe not if the idea man disappears before things can be "resolved". I thought of this when I was comparing the dawn trolls from AUJ to the troll market scene for GDT's The Golden Army. I thought I could sense his fingerprints still in AUJ but that something was missing from the dawn trolls. Like they had brainstormed some neat ideas but that all those months later with the new script going down, they ended up with something less than either the cave troll from Moria or the troll market from Hellboy. Neither a strong Jackson nor a GDT result. Just a theory.


(This post was edited by nuck on Aug 3 2013, 11:02pm)


nuck
Rivendell


Aug 3 2013, 11:37pm

Post #34 of 37 (151 views)
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The LOTR was also Kiwi Anglo [In reply to] Can't Post


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In Reply To

In Reply To

In Reply To

Quote
I think it would've made a perfectly good two-part story




As Dispicable Me 2 passed AUJ in the box office I tried to sort out what made a group of beloved characters with a titanic budget yield such a weak result.


The only way you could have said this is if you counted the US Box Office only. Interestingly nearly three questers of the Hobbit Box Office ($1.1b) came from markets outside the US while only 50% the other move you mentioned ($0.6b). I could be provocative and suggest this may reflect the tastes of relative audiences.


The point to remember is that this is a New Zealand film with predominantly, British (Lots), Australian (Kate and Hugo), and NZ (Manu) leads. It is not until later films do we see some North American actors (Lee Pace US) Evangeline Lilly (Canadian) come in. The global nature of the flm may account for it global appeal.

Definitely the superhero movies have done better in the US and I would agree its because the comics they are based on have a reduced world wide following compared to Tolkien's books. That doesn't change the the fact that the LOTR series did more business everywhere. I quote US numbers because The Movie Times conveniently does the US domestic inflation adjustment in their site. I am not sure if you can just apply the same 40% factor to the international gross but I dare say it would be close, so those LOTR films would all be $1.3-$1.6 b WW today. I think the Harry Potter films also show the same bias to international success based on the international success of the books, but a little less than LOTR. Transformers though, a pure cartoon. also do extremely well overseas, maybe because of the international spread of the toys and TV show. I don't think its the presence or absence of US actors that drives the success in the US market. Again. LOTR and HP were not full of superstar US born talent ( Wood and Mortenson were not household names before that), and McKellan, Weaving, and Blanchett are hugely popular in the US. The movie has to be done right, and it has to be appropriately rated to either get masses of kids, or attract a more adult audience. Expect to see Orlando Bloom to figure more prominently in the trailers than he does in the film, and maybe Lilly as well, because any movie with even the smallest possible romance factor is going to draw a much different demographic than those who would be excited by a pitched battle between dwarves and goblins. No matter how pretty you make your dwarves they aren't quite the same as an elven prince.


(This post was edited by nuck on Aug 3 2013, 11:38pm)


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 4 2013, 12:16am

Post #35 of 37 (146 views)
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If you want to make comparisons [In reply to] Can't Post

Pacific Rim, del Toro's new film, cost $190 million to make (far more than each Hobbit film), has earned $89 million domestically (and won't make it to $100 million) and $229 million worldwide, and yet is being considered enough of a success to justify a likely sequel.

John Carter, which is another film based on a beloved book, cost even more, $250 million, to make, and made $73 million domestically and $282 million.

By any reasonable standard, AUJ was a great success commercially. You are certainly welcome to apply an unreasonable standard, but that doesn't change the simple facts.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


nuck
Rivendell


Aug 4 2013, 3:07pm

Post #36 of 37 (98 views)
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Are we talking about the same thing? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Pacific Rim, del Toro's new film, cost $190 million to make (far more than each Hobbit film), has earned $89 million domestically (and won't make it to $100 million) and $229 million worldwide, and yet is being considered enough of a success to justify a likely sequel.

John Carter, which is another film based on a beloved book, cost even more, $250 million, to make, and made $73 million domestically and $282 million.

By any reasonable standard, AUJ was a great success commercially. You are certainly welcome to apply an unreasonable standard, but that doesn't change the simple facts.




Voronwe you seem to be implying I am calling the film a "bust", by comparing it to John Carter. All I meant was significantly less successful than the LOTR series which isn't arguable. Any reasonable standard should necessarily include the success of the only other films from the same legendarium, and one would assume the studios were looking at this target at all phases of the project.

If you are arguing the film succeeded because it made hundreds of millions in clear profit from ticket sales alone, there is no argument. The franchise and production team guaranteed that only a terrible film would fail to make money. From a studio perspective, if they are actually considering a sequel to Pacific Rim, so long as it's beats its budget WW and the director wants to come back why not? They expect to make some money and will likely license toys and action figures in the future. That they are willing to take a calculated risk doesn't mean the movie was popular, it just means they project a positive ROI. It would be interesting to see, given that GDT walked away from the more profitable Hellboy series.

If you are saying AUJ enjoys equal success to the LOTR series then the BO and implied ticket sales say otherwise. This fils should have made between $450 and $500 m. We make just be arguing different points though.Smile

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(This post was edited by nuck on Aug 4 2013, 3:13pm)


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 4 2013, 3:50pm

Post #37 of 37 (128 views)
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Comparing Apples and Oranges [In reply to] Can't Post

You can't judge the success of the Hobbit films based on a comparison with the LOTR films. It is a different time, and they are two completely different works. Certainly a good argument could be made that the LOTR films were commercially more successful that the Hobbit films so far (and definitely in terms of critical acclaim), but that is irrelevant to the question of whether AUJ's commercial performance was "weak" as you claimed. It was not weak. It was a big success. It just wasn't as big of a success as *you* wanted it to be.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire

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