The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey made just over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, a tremendous success no matter what way you look at it, and a good sign for Warner Bros, the studio that took a chance on Peter Jackson to catch lightening in a bottle for a return sojourn through Middle Earth. With two movies to go, what could possible be the dark cloud in this bright sky?
How about $561 million in production costs on the trilogy so far? That’s the number Variety reported after obtaining financial documents filed in New Zealand, home base for Jackson and all things Hobbit related. That $561 million (or $676 million in New Zealand money) covers all aspects of production through March 31st this year, so it doesn’t cover the recent reshoots, the majority of post-production on part 2 The Desolation of Smaug or any of the post on part3, There and Back Again.
How does that compare to the original Lord of the Rings trilogy? Good question.
MORE AFTER THE BREAK
The total price tag for The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King was $281 million, meaning that one (and a half?) Hobbit movies cost twice as much to make as three Lord of the Rings movies. Now obviously, with one film out and a billion dollars in the bank, Warner Bros isn’t sweating the costs, but the news does offer some potentially interesting analysis on how movies are made in this day and age, and how money is spent on them.
Lord of the Rings trilogy budget: $281 million; The Hobbit trilogy budget: $600 million-plus (by the time it’s over?).
LotR average score on Rotten Tomatoes: 94 per cent; Rotten Tomatoes score of An Unexpected Journey: 65 per cent.
No. of Oscars for LotR: 30 nominations, 17 wins; No. of Oscars of The Hobbit: 3 nominations.
Food for thought as The Hobbit trilogy goes on…
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug comes out December 13th.