It’s a given that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is among Hobbit fans’ most anticipated films for 2013. It appears though, that having now seen episode one of Peter Jackson’s new vision, cinema-goers everywhere have begun listing Smaug as second only to The Hunger Games – Catching Fire as their must watch for 2013.
The information is taken from a Fandango reader poll, which has traditionally been a strong indicator of film-going demographics, e.g. in 2012 they predicted correctly the first in the ‘Hunger series‘ would be their best seller based upon advance ticket sales and polls. Adversely critical views of The Hobbit’s value as a cinema experience have now been seriously undermined by people voting with their feet, it appears.
Interestingly, the Fandango opinion on this reader poll is rated as surprising in some respects. This is not, I hasten to point out, surprising for the fact that Smaug is forecast to do so well. It is more to do with things like Ben Kingsley’s The Mandarin from Iron Man 3 being tipped as most anticipated villain, or Brad Pitt’s World War Z named as Most Anticipated Apocalyptic Movie. Despite this, it still remains that the films and characters you would expect to be up there are there or thereabouts.
What might all this imply? Well, if you look elsewhere, e.g. at Newsday, this should be no surprise, because they have counted more than 25 sequels or prequels due for release in 2013. Dave Karger told Rueters that,
“People love the mega-franchises and that is what gets them most excited.”
People’s tastes in general are perhaps changing, too. Newsday points out that among the big franchises there are a high level of science-fiction, hard action and dystopian visions on offer this year. All in all, The Hobbit trilogy and LoTR before it appear to be films just right for this hour in Time.