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It is over. With six films, and approximately 8,754 minutes (if you count the extended editions), Peter Jackson is all done with Middle-earth. First came The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and now The Hobbit trilogy. How do we feel, where do we go from here, and what will become of New Zealand now that the hobbits are moving out of the shire? These are all good questions, but before we can answer any of them let's have ourselves a face-off. This week's Film Face-off is about the thirds. It's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King versus The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. To save us some typing time, we're going with Lotr: Rotk and H:bofa from here on out. The Hobbit The Return of the King Frodo Baggins (Elijah...
- Jeff Bayer
By Anjelica Oswald
On Dec. 12, the Academy released a shortlist of 79 songs in contention for best original song at the 87th Academy Awards, but it’s not so easy to predict which songs will be announced as nominees on Jan. 15. You can’t turn to potential best picture nominees — or best animated features, for that matter — to predict which songs make the final cut. Though a number of best picture nominees have also been nominated for best original song, there’s not much correlation between the two.
The original song category was first introduced at the 7th Annual Academy Awards, and the winner was “The Continental” from 1934’s The Gay Divorcee, also nominated for best picture.
Nineteen of the 80 Oscar-winning songs have come from best picture nominees. They are as follows:
- Anjelica Oswald
After opening on Wednesday, Warner Bros.’ The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies remained the clear box office winner in its first weekend – earning more than three times what Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb claimed in second. That gives the final chapter in The Hobbit trilogy a five-day domestic total of over $90 million, which is in line with pre-release expectations. In contrast, Night at the Museum 3 started a bit slow, especially compared to fellow new release Annie. Sony’s remake of the family musical came within $1 million of second place and earned a higher per-screen average than its bigger-budget Friday competition, despite opening in 669 fewer locations. Title Weekend Total 1. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies $56,220,000 $90.6 2. Night at the Museum 3 $17,300,000 $17.3 3. Annie (2014) $16,300,000 $16.3 4. Exodus: Gods and Kings $8,065,000 $38.9 5. Mockingjay – Part 1 $7,750,000 $289.2 6. Wild $4,150,000 $7.2 7. Top Five $3,570,000 $12.4 8. Big Hero 6 $3,563,000 $190.4 9. Penguins of Madagascar $3,525,000 $64.1 10. Interstellar $2,600,000 $171.4 Full story after the jump. Though there were »
- Nicole Pedersen
The franchise finale debuted Wednesday on 3,875 locations and easily trumped tracking which had predicted a debut in the $70 million range. For its inaugural three-day weekend, the fantasy adventure earned $56.2 million.
“There have been six visits to Middle Earth and this is the final one and it became so important for people to come out to see this in a big way,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution executive vice president. “The action was there and Peter made a fabulous movie.”
This “Hobbit” faced stiffer competition than the previous installments in the form of two major family releases, “Annie” and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.” Previous Jackson films, such as “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Desolation of Smaug, »
- Brent Lang
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is marching toward a box office victory.
The final installment of Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy grossed $16.6 million on Friday in the U.S. on its way to hauling almost $54 million this weekend, which would put its five-day total at $88 million. This is far above recent estimates of $80 million.
The fantasy adventure is miles ahead of the other newcomers this pre-Christmas weekend. Another sequel, “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” is headed for $19 million, while the reboot of “Annie” trails slightly behind with $18.5 million. The films are in a neck-and-neck race after initial forecasts as late as Friday pegged “Secret of the Tomb” as the clear winner.
Aside from giving a much-needed boost to the U.S. box office, if estimates hold, “Five Armies” will have the year’s eighth highest-grossing opening, behind “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”
Despite the strong showing, »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Giving the U.S. box office a badly needed boost, the finale of Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy is heading toward as much as $80 million in its first five days.
Friday estimates showed “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” taking in $14 million to $15 million at 3,875 locations on its third day.
That means “Five Armies” will also come out far ahead during the pre-Christmas weekend over two new entries — Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” which is headed for about $23 million to $26 million, and Sony’s reboot of “Annie” with about $20 million, although some Friday forecasts were far more bullish on “Annie.”
“Five Armies” marched to $34.4 million on Wednesday and Thursday. Its projected $80 million total — slightly above New Line’s recent guidance — would rank as the seventh-highest Wednesday-Sunday opening in U.S. history.
If the numbers hold, “Five Armies” will eclipse the first five days »
- Dave McNary
“Hobbit” fans have kept coming to U.S. theaters, with “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” taking in a solid $9.9 million at 3,875 locations on its second day for a two-day total of $34.4 million.
Meanwhile, Fox’s comedy “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” opened with a moderate $491,000 from 2,531 locations in latenight shows Thursday. With school still in session Friday for most of the kid demo, the studio had not been expecting a large number.
The opening for “The Battle of the Five Armies” — the final movie in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth saga — comes in the wake of Sony’s decision on Wednesday to cancel its comedy “The Interview” due to terrorist threats from the hacking group Guardians of Peace.
“Five Armies” has been projected to pull in between $70 million and $75 million over its first five days in U.S. theaters. Thursday’s figure represented a 58% decline »
- Dave McNary
You know you're in trouble when you have to buy three movie tickets to get to anything dubbed "the defining chapter"No, no. Not The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Just Five Armies. Those Middle Earth movies have long since passed their expiration date for Tfe's interest, though, if you're curious for a review Timothy wrote an excellent one (as is his enviable habit). Peter Jackson, once an exciting, rowdy, and passionate human filmmaker is now a factory mogul. Contrary to popular belief, we love television here at The Film Experience but each medium has its place. Serialized storytelling is TV's most beloved strength. The movies aren't very good at it. And that's what annual franchises are, one season of an expensive show per year that's only two or three episodes long in which something may or may not happen depending on how much material the show-runner and »
- NATHANIEL R
In their extended (and superior) cuts, the three films of the Lord of the Rings trilogy run 680 minutes. That's just over 11-and-a-half hours. Add in the six or so hours from the first two Hobbit movies and you have a lot of movie. Now, picking the 20 best single moments from these five movies doesn't seem so foolhardy. If anything, it seems too difficult! How do you narrow that much content down? After revisiting The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, we managed to select 20 scenes that stand out above the rest. Consider this a brief primer on just how great these can be before you return to...
- Jacob S. Hall
Moviegoers won't be able to see "The Interview" this holiday season, but they will have lots of Middle Earth on their hands. Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" opened on Wednesday and is expected to dominate the box office for the rest of the year. The last installment of the "Hobbit" trilogy brought in $24.5 million on over 3,800 screens on its first day. That's down from the $31.1 million the previous chapter, "The Desolation of Smaug," earned last year and the $37.1 million "An Unexpected Journey" found in 2012. That being said, both those films opened on a Friday. Comparatively, the "Hobbit's" total actually makes it the third best December Wednesday debut ever behind "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." "Battle of the Five Armies" will face competition on Friday when Sony Pictures' "Annie" and 20th »
- Gregory Ellwood
“Hobbit” fans have returned in force to U.S. theaters with the finale, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” taking in a formidable $24.5 million at 3,875 locations on its opening day.
The Wednesday figure includes an impressive $11.2 million from Tuesday night pre-shows.
The final movie in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth saga — financed by New Line and MGM — has been projected to pull in between $70 million and $75 million over its first five days in U.S. theaters. “Five Armies” had already opened in 37 foreign markets and earned an impressive $122.2 million last weekend.
The previous Hobbit films debuted on Fridays. “An Unexpected Journey” grossed $84.6 million in 2012 on its first weekend and “The Desolation of Smaug” took in $73.6 million in its initial weekend last year. The two “Hobbit” films have combined for nearly $2 billion at the global box office.
The $24.5 million U.S. bow for “Five Armies” represents the 12th largest on record for a Wednesday. »
- Dave McNary
Warner Bros. Pictures
Back when An Unexpected Journey came out to mixed reviews, its defenders were keen to point out that it was merely the first in a three-part story and you couldn’t condemn The Hobbit until it was over. After all, people didn’t judge the whole The Lord Of The Rings trilogy on The Fellowship Of The Ring, did they? Well, yes they did – the first film was nominated for thirteen Oscars, including Best Picture – but humouring them people patiently waited to see how things transpired.
Now, with the whole thing complete, it’s totally acceptable to pass judgement. And boy were people right the first time around – The Hobbit is a bloated mess. Sure, there’s the kernel of a good idea in there, but through a string of terrible production decisions it’s lost in a greed that makes dragon sickness look like the flu. »
- Alex Leadbeater
Thursday Am Update: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies earned an estimated $24.46 million on opening day. That includes an estimated $11.2 million from late Tuesday showings.This is the second-lowest opening day in Peter Jackson's six-movie Middle Earth saga; its ahead of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, but below the rest. That's not a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, though, as the first two Hobbit movies opened on a Friday.If The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies follows the same pattern as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, it will earn $88 million by Sunday.Forecast: Beginning on Wednesday, fans of Peter Jackson's Middle Earth saga will have an opportunity to visit the fantasy world "one last time."Playing at 3,875 theaters, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies could earn as much as $100 million over its first five days. »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Chicago – Though he’s never been called it before in scientific speak, I’m saying it now: Peter Jackson is a master of mitosis. He’s one of Hollywood’s best in splitting up the cinematic cellular DNA of one story into three because, apparently, he can’t do epics unless they’re in groups of three.
After directing a previous trio of precious ring-obsessed films one year apart, Jackson’s back with another threesome. “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” released in 2001, “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” in 2002 and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” in 2003. Now we have his “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 2012, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in 2013 and the current “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which opened in theatres everywhere today.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s book “The Hobbit” is only 320 pages long. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies is well on its way to dominating at the box office over the holiday season, debuting with $11.2 million in Tuesday night screenings. That tally bests last year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which took in $8.8 million from preview screenings, but it is still lower than The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey's $13 million haul in 2012. The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies opened in over 3,100 theaters last night for early screenings, with the Middle Earth finale expanding to 3,875 theaters by Friday, 85% of which can screen the film in 3D or large formats.
The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies has already earned $122.1 million in 37 international markets, with 71% of that total coming from 3D screenings. This is the first Hobbit movie to open on a Wednesday, mirroring The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which opened on mid-December Wednesdays for three consecutive years. »
Directed by Peter Jackson
New Zealand/USA, 2014
To fully appreciate Peter Jackson’s last foray into Middle-Earth, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, one must understand it’s actually two separate movies. The first movie is a sour, pseudo-Shakespearean morality play that has nothing to do with Hobbits. The second movie is a heartfelt rumination about friendship and self-sacrifice. For those willing to overlook the sour for the sweet, there are great treasures to be found, as Jackson brings his trilogy to a suitably-epic conclusion.
Well, Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and his crew of Dwarves have really done it this time. They ticked off the evil, treasure-hoarding dragon, Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), and now the good folks of Laketown must pay the price. In a spectacular opening sequence, »
- J.R. Kinnard
And so another holiday tradition comes to a close. Thirteen years ago (naw, can’t be!), Peter Jackson delivered the first of a Christmas-time trilogy with the inaugural entry of the Jrr Tolkien trilogy, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring. Two years later he closed it out with The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, and after reaping a bounty of gold a few months later at Oscar time, he bid adieu to Middle Earth. But after a couple of features, the siren call of the wizards and elves drew him back for, not a sequel, but a prequel. The film rights to this earlier Tolkien work was finally untangled from a legal web , one tougher than those weaved by fearsome giant spiders. After the intended director moved on, Jackson was back on board, creating three new films from the singular novel. 2012 saw »
- Jim Batts
It represents the culmination of his 16-year, six-film J.R.R. Tolkien marathon — an outsized success in duration, execution, visual-effects wizardry and overall popularity. No director in history has maintained tighter control over the creative direction of a global film franchise, which so far has amassed close to $5 billion in ticket sales alone.
But after bringing his Middle-earth spectacles to the masses, the world’s most famous Kiwi is ready to downsize and return to his low-budget roots: The 53-year-old director-producer-screenwriter is working on adapting several true stories about his native country, with his longtime partner Fran Walsh, that he says will be similar in tone and scope to his 1994 murder tale, “Heavenly Creatures.”
“We really feel a bigger urge now to not continue with another Hollywood blockbuster for a while, »
- Brent Lang and Tim Gray
2Nd Update, Monday 4:39 Pm Pt: Actuals are in from the international weekend with The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies climbing $4.6M above projections. The 1st frame cume is now $122.2M with 3D results accounting for 71% of the box office total. Increases in key overseas markets have been updated below. Expanded Hobbit holiday cheer will flow next weekend in North America, Italy, Spain and Korea. On the flipside, Exodus: Gods And Kings came in slightly lower in its cume, which is $18.2M versus an estimated $18.8M on Sunday. However, the biblical epic was up over projections in some Asian markets where audiences have been drawn by the scale and spectacle. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 stayed just about on par with Sunday’s estimates, but has now passed the lifetime of Catching Fire in 32 territories including Italy and Brazil — and could imminently pass Cf‘s Latin American take entirely. »
- Nancy Tartaglione
With The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies now out in UK cinemas, we have spent this weekend feeling very, very nostalgic about the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
It's not just that this sixth film marks the end of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth series (at least until the five-part Silmarillion adaptation is announced). It's the fact that Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens worked so many glorious Rings references into the script for Battle of the Five Armies, including one in particular which we won't spoil, but has kept us smiling for the last fortnight.
So without further ado, here are our nine favourite moments from the Rings trilogy in chronological order. For the purposes of this list, we used the theatrical cuts rather than the extended editions.
1. The Nazgul attack at Weathertop
A genuinely chilling moment that recalls Jackson's horror movie pedigree, this early set piece sees Frodo, »
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