The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey took in $32.9 million this weekend, for its third time at the top of the box office. Three Christmas Day releases followed the fantasy film: Quentin Tarantino's Western Django Unchained earned $30.7 million, the musical Les Misérables won $28 million, and Billy Crystal's Parental Guidance made $14.8 million. Tom Cruise's action flick Jack Reacher rounded out the top five with $14 million.
Despite a huge drop in ticket sales, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey managed to stay at the top of the box office for the second weekend in a row, taking in $36.7 million. Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher opened in second place with $15.6 million, and This is 40 debuted in third with $12 million. Rise of the Guardians and Lincoln rounded out the top five, with $5.9 million and $5.6 million, respectively.
Are you ready to go back to Middle-earth? Director Peter Jackson takes us back with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of three movies that make up a prequel trilogy to The Lord of the Rings. This time, Frodo's uncle Bilbo embarks on a journey with wizard Gandalf and a team of dwarves, where they encounter trolls, dragons, elves, and a few other things. So how does The Hobbit stack up to its predecessors? Watch our video review to find out!
We're headed back to the Shire when The Hobbit: An Expected Journey comes out this weekend. We got a long look at the Middle Earth trip in the fanciful trailer, and if you want more, check out the slew of pictures from the film, including shots of Gandalf and Bilbo, a behind-the-scenes look at the actors and director Peter Jackson, and gallery shots of the various dwarfs, elves, and trolls that will be part of Bilbo's grand adventure.
Director Peter Jackson brings us back to Middle-earth in the first part of his trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which is a prequel to his Lord of the Rings movies. Though Jackson is meticulous in adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel, the movie feels overlong and overstuffed. Still, The Hobbit has new things to show us from Tolkien's world, and this time we go along on an adventure with a young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), the titular hobbit who has been recruited by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to join a team of dwarves in their quest to take back their home from the dragon Smaug. Bilbo is hesitant to leave the comfort of his beloved Shire, but once he gets the adventure bug, he's off — as are we, on a journey that's unfortunately slow, but not without its highlights.
Lord of the Rings fans will no doubt come to see The Hobbit for more of Peter Jackson's able handling of Tolkien's world. However, that comparison ultimately hurts An Unexpected Journey, because it's simply not as captivating as the installments in the original trilogy. There are unnecessary subplots, expository conversations drag on, and few of the action scenes achieve nail-biter status. To find out what else I thought, just keep reading.
An epic adventure began at last night's premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in NYC. The film's stars gathered at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Midtown for the event. Leading man Martin Freeman joined his costar Andy Serkis, who in real life doesn't look much like his character Gollum. Ian McKellen laughed with Richard Armitage and director Peter Jackson. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first in a trio of Hobbit films planned by Peter. Next up is The Hobbit: There and Back Again, which will feature Orlando Bloom and Benedict Cumberbatch.
This latest series follows on the heels of Peter's Lord of the Rings franchise. Also in attendance were former costars and members of the Lord of the Rings clan, Liv Tyler and Elijah Wood. Other guests who caught an early showing of the film included Chevy Chase, Terry O'Quinn, and Patrick Stewart. The Hobbit will open to the public when it hits theaters Dec. 14.
The first trailer for The Hobbit that premiered way back in December certainly captured the same kind of sprawling epic feel of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it was kind of underwhelming. However, the latest trailer for the first film in the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel gives us more of what made the previous series so entertaining — it's funny! Here, we see the dwarves goofing around, we get more of Martin Freeman embodying the carefree Bilbo (along with why he's going on this unexpected journey), and we see far more of Gollum, being creepy and making everything unnecessarily plural.
I'm still not sure that the Hobbit series really needed to expand to three films, but I'm more exciting about seeing the first installment after watching this preview. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out Dec. 14, so check out this trailer prior to the Christmastime release after the jump.
Travel to Middle Earth even before The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters on Dec. 14 with the Hobbit Movies app (free). For Tolkien fans who can't wait for the latest fantasy novel-turned-film to premiere, use the app to follow Bilbo Baggins' journey from the Shire to Lonely Mountain through an interactive Middle Earth map.
In addition to delving into the heart of the classic story, use the app to bask in 360-degree views of the filming locations and early stills from the film, watch the latest production videos, brush up on important characters, download hobbit wallpapers for your iDevices, and peek at the production journals of director Peter Jackson. It's the only thing keeping us Lord of the Rings/hobbit fanatics calm while awaiting the film's release.
Director Peter Jackson took to Facebook today to officially announce that The Hobbit will be three movies, rather than two, as originally planned. In his statement, he wrote that he and partner Fran Walsh had recently watched the footage and asked themselves, "Do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved 'yes.'" Jackson continued on to say, "So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of 'The Hobbit' films, I'd like to announce that two films will become three."
There is no word yet on whether this decision will affect the previously announced release dates for the two movies, An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Christmas isn't even here yet, but we already have a 2012 holiday treat to look forward to in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Though that's 12 months off, the good news is that we have the first trailer right here! If you're expecting something of the same caliber as The Two Towers, you might be a little disappointed; this preview is low on action and high on introduction and backstory. We meet young Bilbo (Martin Freeman), who is just trying to live his hobbit life in Bag End when he's rudely interrupted by an adventure-seeking Gandalf (Ian McKellen). What follows is a quick introduction to his long list of travel companions, and then a brief glimpse at what's in store in the first part of the adventure.
As excited as I am for this movie, I can't help but feel a teensy bit underwhelmed by this trailer. The production value looks amazing of course, but I was hoping the preview would incite a little more excitement. That said, we've got a whole year to build up the hype, so in the meantime, watch the trailer after the jump.