Posted in: Opinion

‘The Hobbit’ Passes $300 Million At The Box Office, Is It A Disappointment?

With $300 million earned, is The Hobbit a box office disappointment?

After nearly three months in theaters, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has broken the $300 million mark at the box office.

Considering the franchise The Hobbit shares the same universe with, is a $300 million domestic haul a disappointment?

For comparison, Box Office Mojo shows that The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring earned $313 million in theaters. The Two Towers earned $339 million. The finale, The Return Of The King earned $377 million.

The Hobbit made just over one million over the four day holiday weekend to break $300 million, and likely isn’t going to earn much more.

The Return Of The King was released in 2003, 10 years ago. The Hobbit seems to have retained a large portion of the original trilogy’s audience, so the answer would appear to be yes.

But what happens when ticket price inflation is taken into account? The numbers may surprise you. Adjusting the original trilogy’s domestic box office, here are what the movies earned:

1) The Fellowship Of The Ring – $438 million

2) The Two Towers – $461 million

3) The Return Of The King – $495 million

The Hobbit’s box office stays at $300 million. If The Return Of The King’s box office is rounded up to an even $500 million, the numbers show The Hobbit only managed to retain 60 percent of the franchises audience.

Is the theatrical performance of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey a disappointment in this new light? In truth, only the performance of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug this December will tell. If it follows the path of the original trilogy and outperforms the $300 million performance of An Unexpected Journey, the answer is no. If it makes less money, the answer is yes.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits DVD and Blu-Ray in March. Will you be buying it to add to your Lord Of The Rings collection?

Articles And Offers From The Web

Comments

30 Responses to “‘The Hobbit’ Passes $300 Million At The Box Office, Is It A Disappointment?”

  1. Dawn Freeman

    More people had jobs and disposable income in 2003! The criminal debacle that has resulted in global financial meltdown and massive job losses in all developed countries and now sees, (most notably), Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland facing bankruptcy whilst all economies are struggling merely to survive, had not occurred! Splashing the cash and frazzling the plastic are not such easy or attractive options in 2013, especially when putting food on the table is becoming a pressing priority for vast numbers of families. In this climate the film is a massive hit by anyone's standards, despite the critics wishing it wasn't and doing their best to ensure it would fail. They tried. THEY failed! As the film requires no prior knowledge of the tedious LOTR trilogy to be enjoyed by its audience it will gain a following of its own, independent of what went before. It's a wonderful, entertaining adventure fantasy that has enjoyed a success that most other film franchises can only aspire to with little hope of emulating – and we're only one third through!

  2. Adrian Luca

    The author forgot to factor in that The Hobbit was a 3D release, and thus its box office takings are boosted by super-expensive ticket prices. This diminishes The Hobbit's audience in relation to the LOTR films even further.

  3. Justin Cotton

    The economy was better in 2003. How these critics can claim that a movie that has made over $300 million in the US and over $650 million in other countries (and that's not counting China yet) is some 'disappointment' is unbelievable. They are showing their complete bias for some unknown political reason, I'd suggest. Not that these guys usually mention the overseas figures, maybe the world ends at LAX?

  4. Justin Cotton

    But that works both ways, because it means less people can afford to go. End of the day, a movie that has made over $300 million and counting in the US, and will make over $1 billion worldwide, is certainly not a 'disappointment'.

  5. Justin Cotton

    Totally agree, and top posting. I wonder why the critics wanted the film to fail? One critic was saying they went to a preview viewing with other critics and were shocked by the attitude in the room. They have failed because their reviews are wildy out of kilter with the cinescore ratings by movie goers and strong word of mouth has seen this film on the way to $1 billion worldwide.

  6. Kenneth Cotton

    In the movie industry its a rule of thumb that a movie has to make back twice its production cost just to break even because production cost doesnt include things like salerys and marketing and theathers take half the box office so for a big movie like the hobbit 300 million in the us just off box office only nets the studios 150 million and thats before salerys and marketing cost and legal cost so given all that mate it is a box office disappoint ment and the studios are probably going to have to eat the losses also the economy isnt a good excuse as both the avenagers and the dark knight rises easily had double if not triple what the hobbit did and thats just in the us mate

  7. Kenneth Cotton

    In the movie industry its a rule of thumb that a movie has to make back twice its production cost just to break even because production cost doesnt include things like salerys and marketing and theathers take half the box office so for a big movie like the hobbit 300 million in the us just off box office only nets the studios 150 million and thats before salerys and marketing cost and legal cost so given all that mate it is a box office disappoint ment and the studios are probably going to have to eat the losses also the economy isnt a good excuse as both the avenagers and the dark knight rises easily had double if not triple what the hobbit did and thats just in the us mate

  8. Justin Cotton

    It's production cost was around $150 million +, so it's tracking for over an 800% profit. Happy days! Hope my maths is right. It will clear $1 billion in revenue after it opens in China, currently at $960 million.

  9. Kenneth Cotton

    Yes but that doesnt include millions in salery legal and marketing cost all of which would easily eat up that 150 million also 1 billion world wide is nothing these days plus half if not more of that goes directly to the theathers not the studios

  10. Justin Cotton

    Kenneth, surely you need to look at the worldwide figures, not just the US figures. The movie has done much better on worldwide figures than the first two LOTR movies, and there are 3 films in this trilogy too. I've no doubt P Jackson esquire will be happy.

  11. Justin Cotton

    Don't worry about paying really high salaries, PJ's industrial relations campaign addressed that, this is partly why the production costs are a bit lower in New Zealand. There were some NZ actors like Robyn Malcolm who wanted to be paid Taj Mahal salaries when they should be doing this for love, in my view. Now, you also say that $1 billion is nothing these days. How many movies currently have crossed that barrier? A handful only.

  12. Kenneth Cotton

    Yes but atleast half of the over seas sales go stright to the theathers and over seas means bigger marketing cost its going to probably break even but for a huge movie like the hobbit thats a disappointment look at the dark knight rises and the avengers box office numbers and they had rought the same production cost as the hobbit

  13. Justin Cotton

    Hey I'm not saying it's a supernova at the box office. We can talk about your favourite films Avatar and Titanic if you want to discuss those. What I am saying, is that to claim this movie has not succeeded commercially, is complete bollocks. It's a bit like me saying "Skyfall" failed commercially because I believe it should have made $2 billion worldwide not $1.1 billion.

  14. Kenneth Cotton

    These days world wide quite a few movies have crossed that barrier all of the recend dc and marvel comics easily past a billion world wide theres also tax cost the studios gotta pay pj also got quite a pretty penny plus the royaltys to the owner of the hobbit books that aint cheap my friend

  15. Justin Cotton

    What about our low NZ production costs? Go do some reasearch and I reckon you'll struggle to find anyone saying this movie wouldn't make a profit. It's just a question of how much. I'm not seeing that much advertising for The Hobbit since it's release, it's got to the $1 billion threshold on word of mouth and love of the trilogy. As for that $1 billion mark, I'll go and check up how much have actually reached that mark, and it's not much.

  16. Justin Cotton

    OK, 14 movies have done that, with The Hobbit now 17th in the list. Number 14 is The Dark Knight, and The Hobbit will pass that. So let's wait til the end of its cinema run.

  17. Kenneth Cotton

    Yes but sky fall wasnt expected to break a billion i also believe its production cost werent as high as the hobbits expection is everything the hobbit was expected to surpass the lotr's movies (with inflation) and it hasnt even a billion dollar box office is only 500 million to the studios after 150 million in production cost probably 40-60 million in salarys probably close to another 100 million in marketing over seas and millions more in taxes royalitys and legal cost 500 million quickly turns into a loss

  18. Justin Cotton

    I'm not accepting this fuzzy maths or economics. I'm just looking at the sums I know about. Around $150 million or so in production costs, $300 m plus revenue in the US and heading for $1 billion worldwide. By the way, have you seen the movie?

  19. Kenneth Cotton

    Does that 14 also include older movies that with todays inflation would have gotten a billion? And just tv spots cost millions and thats not counting really big tv spots during big events it cost over 50 million just for a few mins during the superbowl

  20. Kenneth Cotton

    No i havent mate ive never been much of a fan of the lotr movies just not my thing and u can look up all the cost that production cost doesnt cover mate its all on google i wouldnt lie to u mate movie production is a hobby of mine always has been

  21. Justin Cotton

    No, I'm not worried about inflation. Let's look at the economies crashing in the US, Europe and just about everywhere since the last LOTR movie in 2003. To that you will say but other movies have done bigger sums in the same climate, true, but most other movies have done much lower figures. Kenneth, if you haven't seen it, you're not doing your part. It's a fine film, and in my view a step up from the LOTR movies. That's the crucial bit.

  22. Adrian Luca

    Justin Cotton, you're incorrectly applying the "three times the budget to break even" rule to worldwide earnings. That equation is meant to be used on US box office. The studio sees a vastly smaller percentage of the takings from non-American theaters. By all objective accounts, The Hobbit IS a disappointment, and backers are probably worried that the box office trajectory of the series will follow that of the Narnia films rather than that of the LOTR films.

  23. Justin Cotton

    So the $700 million plus earned elsewhere counts for nothing then, according to Uncle Festus here. I'm just looking at the figures, which means the worldwide figures as far as I'm concerned. How well a studio does in its profit and loss statement is of no concern of mine. What are you suggesting, that WB will pull the pin on a trilogy after the first film, when the first film made over $1 billion worldwide? And, with all due respect to Kenneth who is from there, I am sick and tired of this world ends at LAX American mentality in all matters. I'm a fan of Tolkien and Peter Jackson, not a bloody accountant!

  24. Justin Cotton

    Further to that, why would you not assume the trajectory would not be upward, as it was with the LOTR? Since the critics despised this first movie then surely the only way would be up, in quality. Given an A cimema score rating with audiences and an A plus cinema score with under 18s, I'd rather trust the audience – and I think that will stand it in good stead as people get used to the franchise again after 10 years.

  25. Kenneth Cotton

    Justin your not understanding mate the studios in america only get about half of all the ticket sales over seas they get even less of the ticket sales theaters take huge chucks of the pie when it comes to box office so its not a billion the studios are seeing it's closer to 500 million world wise which for a movie that cost almost 200 million and probably close to another 200 million from salaries taxes legal fees and marketing fees that 500 million suddenly turns into around a 100 to 200 million that's a huge disappointment for studios especially with a huge movie with huge expectations like the hobbit it would be the same if the avengers movie had done similar numbers the plans for a trilogy would have been canceled and all the marvel projects leading up to the 2nd avengers would be in trouble as well studios have canceled trilogy's for not getting the box office they expected before holly is about money mate it's nothing personal my favorite directer is kevin smith and his movies always get around 30-40 million world wide which is extremely small but i still love that fat fuck lol

  26. Justin Cotton

    I'd rather go by what I've read on the net, not what you guys are saying, with your biased commentary. Even Box Office Mojo, which has been a bit reluctant to praise the film, has conceded that the movie has 'righted the ship somewhat' and that with $300m US and $1 billion worldwide, the studio would be happy with that achievement.

  27. Adrian Luca

    Biased commentary? Biased in what way? The simple fact is that The Hobbit has been a relative box office disappointment in the USA, which honestly is the market that counts for a film financed the way this one was. A 3D film budgeted at over 200 million has barely cracked 300 million at the US Box office. I don't think you understand that 700 million from non-US markets isn't worth a fraction of that to the studio.