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John Marston

why did the Hobbit movies not do better at the domestic (mainly) box office?

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Yes... I think there is something to that perspective.

Although I was disappointed by TH trilogy (as a big fan of both Tolkien and PJ movies), I think this will not be remembered as "another SW PT".

Simply because LotR was never SW OT to begin with in terms of pop culture and fan following. Despite its geeky topic, LotR did never have that kind of fandom.

TH trilogy might, in the future, be very well a way for people - especially kids - to "get to know" the Middle-earth universe, maybe after having read TH or having it read to them.

It will be the little brother of the big classic... but not really the ugly little brother (although there is no disputing that they are lesser movies). Mainly something smaller.

In terms of BO-performance - they did pretty well and especially AUJ was simply totally over-predicted.

This was never going to be on the scale of the Avengers, even with better reviews.

Why do you think AUJ was over predicted?

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Because two of the three movies were borderline Plan Nine From Outer Space bad. And the third one was just passable.


Most people didn't think that, lol and lots of people found the third one to actually be the weakest film. 

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In comparison to JW, I think having multiple Hobbit movies hurt the first one. That, combined with marketing that didn't make the first a "must-see". It just didn't have the same buzz leading into the last few weeks before it opened.


I kind of agree had it just been one film (or maybe even two like originally planned) it would have felt more like an event film and probably would have made more money (and been a better film too)  

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I agree with what was said above... plus LotR is imho a different kind of classic as, for example Star Wars... although both are classics and "epic" movies in their own way, SW always seemed to be the more "cinematic" epic with a bigger movie-franchise and movie-fandom behind it (LotR has a lot of fans as well, I am one of them, but I always felt that that franchise is much more diverse and split over different groups, especially in regard to the books).


A lot of people also seemed to know that TH - no matter how it was done - would remain the little brother of LotR, cinematically. I heard that so often when the marketing started that I was buffled to see that so many people automatically assumed gigantic numbers for this, comparing it with Avatar in terms of potential.


Of course, the long and chaotic production, the not so amazing marketing, reviews etc didn't help. It certainly could have done a bit better, especially with a tighter and better script in a two movie version. But imho the quality wasn't the sole reason why this didn't hit the $1.5 billion (JW surely isn't a better movie than the first two Hobbits, though I know many will disagree) that some people almost expected , just because it was another Middle-earth movie. But among the GA the awareness never reached any hype level outside of the fandom. It would have always been a "been there, done that" thing - a potentially very good "been there, done that" but still... the hype (the kind of hype needed for BO numbers that go from great to phenomenal) was elsewhere.


But nevertheless we shouldn't forget this trilogy still made almost $3 billion.


I wished it made a few 100 millions less and would have ended up more satisfying...

Edited by ShouldIBeHere
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I'll try to answer this as a massive LOTR fan who was also dissapointed by The Hobbit movies and barely bothered to watch the latter two in theatres.


The series got stuck in an awkward no-man's land where production dragged on so long that all the initial hype about the project in the post-LOTR years evaporated and the fanbase lost interest but not long enough that a generation passed and people were nostalgic about the originals ala SW and JP and wanted to introduce that world to their kids. I myself followed the production keenly for years, wanting PJ to direct, then getting let down when Del Toro took the reins, then coming around to that idea, then there was the fiasco of whether the production would leave NZ... By about 2011 I was kind of over it frankly. The initial fans had sort of outgrown it.


There was a general sense of negativity building towards the films by release as well, people weren't impressed by the trailers and the higher frame rate look that PJ was going for and there was a lot of backlash over them splitting it into 3 at the last minute. The weak early reviews compounded this.


Lastly it should be noted that LOTR was never as big in the US as WW. ROTK was second only to Titanic WW but not even close domestically. The fandom in America was more casual and the marketing did nothing to draw back the casual audience. 300 for the first is quite a lot in retrospect, not far off FOTR numbers. Then the damage was done and the next two dropped.

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