Did The Hobbit Make Enough Money Over The Weekend? Maybe Not

By Katey Rich 2012-12-17 08:44:01discussion comments
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Did The Hobbit Make Enough Money Over The Weekend? Maybe Not image
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey made $85 million over the weekend in North America, and another $138 million overseas, which is an enormous sum of money by any measure. But is it possible it's not actually enough?

That's the idea being posited in a handful of morning-after write-ups today, as industry insiders look at The Hobbit's performance compared to both the Lord of the Rings franchise and other modern blockbusters, and find it coming up a bit short. For example, at The Los Angeles Times, they report that pre-release estimates suggested The Hobbit could make as much as $120 million on opening weekend in North America, given the surcharges for 3D and the excitement around 48 fps. $85 million is a lot, but it's nowhere close to that. And at Vulture it's right there in their headline: "Why Didn't The Hobbit Make More Money?" Looking at the estimated $300 million it cost to make the film, plus untold millions more in marketing, it's going to take a while for The Hobbit to find its way in the black. The easy comparison is Peter Jackson's own King Kong, which made $550 million worldwide and, as one of Vulture's sources argues, still didn't make money.

At the same time, there are several weeks of holidays left to go, and there's nothing else on the scale of The Hobbit opening that should appeal to such a wide range of audiences. There's plenty of time left for the film to become a bona fide hit, and with two more Hobbit movies to come, the franchise ought to only get more successful as it goes. It seems insane to be wondering if $85 million is enough for a film to make in its opening weekend, but that's just an indication of the scale on which most major would-be blockbusters operate-- and just how hard studios have to work to get absolutely everybody to come see it. A ton of people have already seen The Hobbit, but somehow, even that might not be enough.
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