It cost over 3 times as much to make ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy than it did ‘Lord Of The Rings.’ I know they’ve got awesome weed in that fantasy universe, but who knew it would be so goddamned expensive?? When news got out that crazy man Guillermo del Toro signed to direct ‘The Hobbit,’ fans were mildly okay with it but wanted Peter Jackson instead. The studio wanted him too. But Jackson was busy, and compromises were made. Hands were shook, del Toro quietly exited, and boom – the king returned. Well, they must’ve wanted him something powerful because the budget Jackson ended up with could rebuild Metropolis after ‘Man Of Steel’ left it crumbled. Wait, I’m mixing genres here. That Shire mary jane must be getting to me. Let’s all get stoned just from talking about how much freakin’ money went into this wholly average production.


There isn’t a ton of stuff to do when you’re a Hobbit. Lounge around your hole, maybe do a little farming, go to parties. It’s a life filled with fireworks made by wizards, 8 or 9 events based around eating, and hanging out with elves that can damn near fly. If that’s not fun enough, there’s an abundance of weed so freakin’ outrageous that nobody goes anywhere without their pipes. Bilbo Baggins was cold chillin’ in his little home (stocked to the gills with munchies), when a wizard – yup, a wizard – came by all like “Hey man, you gotta see this dragon, it’s like a…a…rad motherfucker, dude. It kicked the dwarves out of their houses and just, wow, come on let’s go.” That’s the basic premise of the first two films. The trilogy wraps in December with ‘The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies,’ resolving what is reportedly a monstrously expensive set of movies. According to the Associated Press, some-damn-body was baked when they greenlit the greenbacks for this fable:

“The movie trilogy ‘The Hobbit’ has so far cost nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars to make as the epic continues to set new benchmarks for studio spending.

Financial documents filed this month in New Zealand, where the three movies are being made, show production costs through March had reached 934 million New Zealand dollars ($745 million).

The figures include filming and digital effects completed over several years but not the final eight months of production costs leading up to the scheduled December release of the final movie. It’s not clear from the documents whether worldwide marketing and distribution costs are included.

Warner Bros., which is making the movies, on Tuesday declined to answer questions about the costs: ‘We don’t comment on production budgets,’ wrote Candice McDonough, a senior vice president at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Entertainment, in an email.”

HOLY SHIT! And that’s still with unaccounted-for numbers! Remote location shooting, elaborate costume design, Pampering actors, visual effects out the poop shoot, unexpected delays, shooting in 3D AND 48fps, not to mention cultivating acres of marijuana (presumably), and it still doesn’t sound like it should cost that much. Despite the fact that Jackson stretched this 2 movie deal into 3 whopping projects and…

Wait, maybe the numbers do add up. Great Scott, these movies are way more expensive than anybody expected. I thought they shot these suckers in New Zealand to save money. Who signed off on this? Was it you, Candice McDonough?? You’re like my ex-wife when I asked if she was divorcing me: “Uh…I don’t comment on why all my things are gone” she said in an email from her new apartment.

I read up a little more about this and found some interesting numbers at Cinema Blend. Check it out:

“Let’s say–for the sake of argument–that each of The Hobbit movies cost about $248 million apiece. That would make each of them the sixth most expensive film ever made. Coming in ahead of them: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($250 mil), John Carter ($250 mil), Spider-Man 3 ($258 mill), Tangled ($260 mil), and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($300 mil). And yet, Warner Bros. shouldn’t be sweating this very, very high price tag.”

Don’t sweat it because that money’s gonna come back. Granted, the Hobbit films are, so far, inferior to the previous trilogy, which was epic. They’re overlong in true Peter Jackson style because everyone in Hollywood is afraid to edit his work. And some purists don’t appreciate the original characters he threw in. Nor do they cotton to the included extra storylines you’ll never find in the book. But it’s still Peter Jackson and it’s still Lord Of The Rings and it’s still a central element to some of our needs for fantasy and escapism. Call it an addiction to metaphorical wacky tobacky. It sounds like a questionable gamble, but the studios will make almost 2 billion dollars off this franchise when it’s all said and done. Still…on paper, you’d have to be high as hell to agree to a budget like that.


Category: Books, Film, WTF?

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