So, the critical hype will now be swallowed up by a reality-check, as millions of Hobbit fans flock to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in picture houses around the world. In fact the film-goer tsunami has already broken, since everyone East of Greenwich, London, has already had a chance to see it for themselves.
First of all, early release data demonstrate that the movie is doing well financially. Hollywood Reporter has been tracking the film’s release at 16 selected European venues last Wednesday where it opened to $11.2 million. This represented a single capture of the French market of 25% and the German of a massive 50%. In Sweden the film took $1.6 million, which is significant given the usual tendency there not to swamp opening nights of any film. Hollywood Reporter reports that:
“The 3D ‘tentpole’ opens in North America at 12:01 Friday and is eyeing a weekend gross in the $75 million to $90 million range.”
All of this is very important obviously, because should the film not draw in the viewers then parts 2 & 3 would be in danger of looking very sick indeed. Mojo is clear though, that the movie will do especially well, predicting a $94.5 million first weekend launch. To be seen as a financial success, the film must see off I Am Legend’s $77.2 million previous December record.
Elsewhere, Peter Jackson talked to Reuters and gave some telling responses to one or two spiky questions. Asked why he risked second unit directing on a novice, (Andy Serkis), he said:
“One of the problems with second unit is that you tend to have conservative footage given to you by the director. They play it safe. I knew that I wouldn’t get that from Andy because he’s got such a ferocious energy. He goes for it and doesn’t hold back. I knew that if Andy was the director I would be getting some interesting material, that it would have a life and energy to it.”
Overall, Jackson makes a strong defence of all the controversial issues we have reviewed recently.
Hobbit mania is alive and well, too, by the way. Head over to The London Evening Standard to see an architect’s complete replica of a Hobbit dwelling. Architect, Peter Archer, speaking on the owner’s behalf said,
“The house nestles in a part of Chester County, near Philadelphia, dotted with picturesque barns and rolling fields and belongs to a Tolkien devotee who wanted a worthy – and private – repository for the rare books and Tolkien-inspired memorabilia he has collected in 30 years of travel in the US and abroad.
The building is a short walk from his main house.”
One of the biggest issues raised by critics is the length of the film. Well, we think it a great idea if you tell us whether or not the film was too long, so that we can decide for ourselves. Revisit our front page on Saturday, 15th after 2.30pm GMT and take our latest reader poll.
Actually, I’ve just thought…no one’s going to read this, are they? You’ll all be out watching the film wherever you are!