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“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, »
Jackson’s pumped-up final hobbit movie really works: it’s exciting, spectacular, genial and rousing. And it makes do with one ending
• Quiz: Who said it: Hobbit characters or politicians?
• Nine things we’ve learned about hobbits
• Hobbit to Hunger Games – the curse of the movie trilogy
Peter Jackson has pulled it off. He has successfully concluded his outrageously steroidal inflation of Tolkien’s Hobbit into a triple-decker Middle Earth saga equivalent to the Rings trilogy, and made it something terrifically exciting and spectacular, genial and rousing, with all the cheerful spirit of Saturday morning pictures. And if poor, bemused little Bilbo Baggins now looks a bit lost on this newly enlarged action-fantasy canvas – well, he raises his game as well, leavening the mix with some unexpectedly engaging and likable drama. The Battle of the Five Armies is at least as weighty as The Return of the King. It packs »
- Peter Bradshaw
Digital Spy sat down with Boyd - in The Shire, obviously - to discuss the film's Rings references, walking the red carpet without his Bff Dominic Monaghan, and what Pippin would do in Bilbo's place.
"Even though it was me, I still felt a bit like it was Pippin [singing 'The Last Goodbye']," Boyd explained. "So it should sound a bit like a song from The Shire."
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is released this Friday (December 12) in the UK, and on December 17 in the Us. »
Warner Bros. Pictures
In just a few days’ time, the release of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies will see Peter Jackson bring the curtain down on his adventures in Middle-earth – remarkably, just shy of two decades after it all began.
Jackson first started exploring the possibilities of adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels in 1995, but he could never have imagined that the journey he embarked upon would occupy such an enormous stretch of his career. In the intervening period, the New Zealand native has only directed two films – King Kong and The Lovely Bones – that don’t involve orcs, elves, wizards and Bagginses. Unless Jackson decides to take on The Silmarillion at some point, The Battle Of The Five Armies will be the sixth and final entry in a remarkable body of work.
The Lord Of The Rings films – rightly recognised as one of finest trilogies in »
- Jonathan Cordiner
We're here at last. The long second journey through Middle-earth is about to come to a close. It's been 11 years since the last time we left the unforgettable setting in The Return of the King, and while that film sets an unbelievably high bar, fans at least owe it to themselves to see how Bilbo, Thorin, Gandalf, et al.'s journey concludes The Hobbit trilogy. At the very least, this one promises more spectacle than any other movie in the franchise, and although I don't know if it's "The Defining Chapter" described by the tagline, it's certainly a chapter that true fan is going to have to read. I'm pleased to announce we're giving away 25 admit-two passes to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Hit the jump to find out how you can see the movie early and for free. The film stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, »
- Matt Goldberg
That’s the title of Jackson’s ultra-low budget 1987 directorial debut, but unless you’re a hardcore fan, you’ve probably never seen the bizarre sci-fi gross-out comedy about aliens looking to turn humans into low-calorie delicacies for an intergalactic fast food chain.
In addition to directing, Jackson served as writer, producer, cinematographer, co-editor and the head of makeup and special effects. On top of all that, he cast himself in two leading roles: nasty alien Robert (who has a beard) and human extraterrestrial-buster Derek (sans facial hair). In one memorable sequence, Robert pushes Derek off a cliff. (He survives, but cracks his skull and tries to prevent his brain from leaking out for the rest of the film.)
Jackson made the film on weekends over a four-year period, while »
- Geoff Berkshire
The past two “Hobbit” movies earned three Academy Awards nominations apiece. If there’s justice in the world, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” will get more that that. But there is no guarantee of justice in the Oscar world.
Peter Jackson’s third “Hobbit” film is easily the best of the three: fast, action-packed, beautiful and touching. And it’s an artisans showcase, with across-the-board great work that deserves attention.
But after the three “The Lord of the Rings” movies earned 30 Oscar nominations and “The Return of the King” swept the ceremony with 11 wins, voters have been cooler on the “Hobbit” movies. There is a vague sense in the industry that it’s more of the same, that it’s a kids film, or that Jackson and his team don’t need to win awards.
The first two are wrong. It’s a very different tone than the other two “Hobbit” movies, »
- Tim Gray
Welcome to one of the most unique categories at the Oscars. Best Makeup & Hairstyling is the only category to still feature the "bake-off” phase, where three nominees are chosen from seven finalists after those finalists each make a pitch-via-reel to the branch. Every year features surprise omissions and inclusions, both among the final seven and the final three. The category seems almost uniquely immune to being overwhelmed by the overall reputation of a film. (Best Costume Design is its only rival in this respect.) Films of questionable quality are nominated nearly every year. While some lament the titles that have earned the moniker "Oscar nominee” ("Norbit” perhaps being the most infamous example), I for one love the fact that this branch actually strives to do what it is tasked with. While these macro-level characteristics of the category permeate the nominations process, trends among the nominees are nevertheless observable. The category tends to award monster makeup, »
- Gerard Kennedy
By Anjelica Oswald
It’s safe to assume that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is going to end the year as the highest-grossing film at the domestic box office with more than $331 million earned as of Nov. 23, but its Oscar prospects lie in below-the-line categories, such as visual effects and sound.
More often than not, the highest-grossing films tend to be neglected in the best picture category. Though The Dark Knight (2008), which was widely-acclaimed and was the highest-grossing film of the year, received eight nominations and won two (sound editing and supporting actor), it was snubbed by the Academy in the best picture category. The following year, the number of best picture nominees increased from five to 10 (and can now fall between those numbers). Since this increase though, the only highest-grossing films to land best picture nominations are 2009’s Avatar and 2010’s Toy Story 3. Neither of the films won. »
- Anjelica Oswald
Every year Amazon puts the extended Blu-ray edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy on sale during Black Friday Deals Week and this year is no different in that respect, though it is a little different in that they are bundling it with even more J.R.R. Tolkien goodies for fans of Middle Earth. Along with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which includes the extended Blu-ray editions of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, you can buy bundles that also include all four books, including "The Hobbit" as well as either the PS4 or Xbox One edition of the Shadow of Mordor video game. I've included the links below along with a selection of other deals on more Blu-rays, Blu-ray players, televisions, soundbars and more! The »
- Brad Brevet
Wellington, Nz. Perhaps it's the blustery winterish weather outside and the relative warmth and stillness inside the vast, canvas-covered tent/structure that give Sir Ian McKellen comfort. Maybe it's the lure of craft services dessert that give him cause to stay. Or maybe the venerable thespian is just in an introspective mood. Whatever the cause, as wind howls outside and various members of the "Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" crew scurry in and out of the door, accompanied by chilly gusts and intruding drizzle, McKellen holds court with a small group of reporters for nearly 45 minutes. Some of that time is spent on The State of Gandalf and the events that may or may not be on-tap for the third installment of Peter Jackson's second Tolkien-based trilogy, but far more of the interview is dedicated to deep reflection, delivered in the same authoritative and sonorous tone »
- Daniel Fienberg
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