The Hobbit is due to join an elite club this March when receipts are expected to rocket through the one billion dollar mark. This appears like a slightly insignificant statistic at first until you remember that The Hobbit will become only the fifteenth film to reach these heights, which puts it down as the fifteenth most successful in box-office history.
We have reported here previously that receipts are not always a healthy indicator of a film’s worth financially, because often year on year takings are related to price rise hikes rather than extra footfall in cinemas. Also, as inflation takes its toll older films can never enter the top division no matter how successful they are. The heartening news for The Hobbit is that the news comes on the back of industry speculation that there are better films in depth around at the moment. We can interpret the figures to mean then, that The Hobbit is at least matching films of its era and out-grossing the majority; which is a great indicator of its success.
Reported in Variety, The Hobbit takes its place alongside other recognised big hitters, financially:
“Titanic” was the first film to cross the billion-dollar mark in 1998, grossing $1.8 billion. In 2003, Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” became the second member of the club, followed by “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” in 2006, “The Dark Knight” in 2008 and “Avatar” in 2009 with a still-stunning $2.78 billion.
Other films in the list include, Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland, the eighth and final ‘Harry Potter’ film, the third ‘Transformers’ and the fourth ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.
Now that the first “Hobbit” has been established as a top-tier title, there is surely much less uncertainty over the wisdom of Jackson’s decision last summer to make a third film. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opens Dec. 13 and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” is due out on July 18, 2014.