Director Peter Jackson (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) and his WETA Digital team suffered the loss of two esteemed colleagues last month: VFX producer Eileen Moran, 60, who died of cancer on Dec. 2, and sound editor Mike Hopkins, 53, who was killed in a rafting accident on Dec. 30. In honor of their contributions to films like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, Jackson emailed EW these memories of his departed friends. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Peter Jackson (21-30 of 83)
Despite the arrival of two holiday heavyweights, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey retained the top spot at the box office for the third weekend in a row.
Warner Bros.’ $250 million fantasy prequel was held out of the top spot from Tuesday until Thursday by Les Miserables, but over the traditional weekend frame Hobbit dipped only 11 percent to bring in $32.9 million, and its domestic total now stands tall at $222.7 million. After 17 days, The Hobbit is performing well ahead of 2001’s The Fellowship of the Ring, which had earned $189.3 million at the same point in its run (though that number climbs to about $260 million after accounting for inflation), but it still trails the 17-day cumes of The Two Towers ($243.6 million), and The Return of the King ($272.8 million). Notably, those films did not have 3D or IMAX surcharges boosting their totals. READ FULL STORY
Snowstorms in the northeast may be limiting moviegoing attendance this weekend, but inclement weather won’t stop Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf from ringing in the New Year in style.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey returned to the top of the box office on Friday, crossing the $200 million mark in the process. The $250 million Warner Bros. release grossed an estimated $10.7 million on Friday, putting it on pace for a $31 million weekend, which would bring its total to about $221 million and lift its worldwide cume past $600 million. READ FULL STORY
The films of the Lord of the Rings trilogy left its audiences on the note of three ethereal women’s voices, including Annie Lennox, who earned Return of the King one of its 11 Oscars. Now as director Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth with the dwarf-packed The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the voice of New Zealand musician Neil Finn serenades the audience when its final frame fades to black.
“The story is very much a dwarf tale as much as it is called The Hobbit,” says Finn, who sings “Song of the Lonely Mountain,” the majestic and epic yet intimate and warm ballad of the dwarves that closes out the first film of Jackson’s new trilogy.
“Song of the Lonely Mountain” shares its melody with “Misty Mountains,” a tune heard earlier in the film that the 13 dwarves bellow in solemn baritone before setting out on their quest with Bilbo Baggins. New Zealand artists Plan 9 and David Long, who wrote and performed songs in The Lord of the Rings, brought their talents again to The Hobbit, setting J.R.R. Tolkien’s verse to music for “Misty Mountains.” The melody also appears in Howard Shore’s score, where it is brought to even greater heights with a stately brass section. READ FULL STORY
In the latest edition of “Movie Talk with Owen & Lisa,” EW critics Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum discuss “a small movie called The Hobbit.” Back in the days of The Lord of the Rings, Lisa was the Tolkien devotee, and Owen the appreciative not-quite-a-fan. Have their perspectives changed with the latest cinematic return to Middle Earth? Watch their full discussion below. READ FULL STORY
Warner Bros. has just announced that The Hobbit earned an estimated $13.0 million from midnight showings at 3,100 locations last night, giving it a per-theater average of $4,193 from midnight shows alone. It’s a nice recovery from the doldrums of the past two frames. When combined, the last two wide releases to hit theaters, Playing for Keeps and Killing Them Softly, couldn’t earn $13.0 million over their entire opening weekends. Included in The Hobbit‘s midnight figure is $1.6 million that the film earned from 326 IMAX theaters.
When you think of all the radical, paradigm-shifting leaps that technology has taken over the last two decades — analog to digital! print to Internet! desktop to mobile! cathode ray tube to liquid crystal display! — the very sound of 48 frames per second has a “New And Improved!” golly-gee I’ll-see-you-and-raise-you-24-frames clunkoid quaintness about it. It doesn’t sound like the future, exactly; it sounds like the past on steroids. Forty-eight frames per second, of course, is how fast the images are going to be shooting through projectors at 450 of the theaters showing Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey starting today. If you see the film at one of those theaters, you’re going to experience the kickoff moment of an up-and-coming film-image revolution. Or so the producers of The Hobbit would have you believe. READ FULL STORY
After two dreadful weekends at the box office, Gandalf, Bilbo, and a whole motley crew of dwarves have come to the film industry’s rescue — and not even the dragon Smaug will be able to keep them from grabbing a whole lot of treasure.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first entry in a trilogy produced by Warner Bros. (and technically MGM as well) for a reported $600 million, arrives in theaters nine years after the original Lord of the Rings franchise concluded. Those three Lord of the Rings films opened over this same weekend in Dec. 2001, 2002 and 2003, grossing $47.2 million, $62.0 million, and $72.6 million in their respective debut weekends, and all three eventually earned over $300 million domestically. Because the series was so well-received from the very beginning, each subsequent release performed better than its predecessor, and the final entry, The Return of the King, topped out with $377 million domestically and $1.1 billion worldwide — not to mention an Academy Award for Best Picture.
After nearly a decade of waiting — during which the LOTR series was devoured voraciously on DVD — The Hobbit, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s prequel to the LOTR series, is now poised to maintain the franchise’s box office vitality, at least on opening weekend. The Hobbit will almost certainly continue the trend of rising opening weekend grosses. The question is now how high it can climb. READ FULL STORY
One hobbit will rule them all—for now, at least. A California federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order barring the release of Age of the Hobbits, a low-budget straight-to-video release from an independent film production company called The Asylum that was slated for release on Tuesday, just days before the opening of director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Warner Bros., New Line, MGM, and Hobbit producer Saul Zaentz filed suit against The Asylum last month, charging that the company was trying to infringe on their copyrights and confuse consumers with its film.
In response, The Asylum contended that Age of the Hobbits has nothing to do with the world of J.R.R. Tolkien but is, in fact, an action-adventure film about the pre-human hominid species homo floresiensis, which has been nicknamed “hobbits” in scientific literature—an argument that, as he wrote in his ruling, the judge found “disingenuous.”
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With the Dec. 14 opening of the first installment of director Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, subtitled An Unexpected Journey, only days away, rabid J.R.R. Tolkien fans are already looking ahead and speculating about how the story will play out over the two films that’ll follow. Well, here’s a big clue. In this exclusive first image from the second film, The Desolation of Smaug, in theaters Dec. 13, 2013, we see Bilbo Baggins going for the gold. To be more exact, we see Martin Freeman’s reluctant hobbit hero splayed out on a massive pile of treasure, looking up in hobbit-y alarm at what we can probably safely assume is an enormous and not very happy fire-breathing dragon named Smaug.
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