Hobbit in-flight video

We’ve all slept through in-flight safety videos dozens (if not hundreds) of times. But most don’t have Elijah Wood, Peter Jackson, and other Hobbit cast members. Few feature the scenery of Middle-Earth, and effects that would make a micro-budget film weep. In fact, only one other video does: the last in-flight safety video from Air New Zealand. Now the company has a new video, dubbed “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made.” Watch this new Hobbit in-flight video below. Read More »

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Hobbit Battle of Five Armies teaser

A movie’s budget has little correlation to success or quality. Films that costs just tens of thousands of dollars have gone on to great success; probably more films that cost tens of millions of dollars have failed horribly. It’s when films that cost hundreds of millions of dollars fail horribly that studios start worrying about their well-being.

But you have to spend money to make money and audiences today demand spectacle. Despite that demand, they also need it to be sold to them. So a film that costs $250 million might end up costing $500 million once the studio pays for TV commercials, billboards, press junkets and more. It’s a crazy, crazy business and there’s always a gamble even on the biggest properties.

When Warner Bros. decided to make J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit into movies, the gamble was a little smaller. Peter Jackson had already turned three Lord of the Rings movies into massive hits and a return to Middle Earth would certainly attract audiences. However, with a decade or so of new technology to work with, those movies were going to be expensive. They were going to be even more expensive when the decision was made to do not two, but three films in the series. Now, with the third film on its way to theaters, we have an idea of what that commitment cost. It is historically staggering. Read more about The Hobbit budget below. Read More »

Smaug mo-cap

We’re pretty familiar with the sight of good actors jumping and rolling about in mo-cap suits while doing performance capture work for effects-based films. We’re especially familiar with that image when it comes to Peter Jackson‘s Middle-Earth movies. And yet there’s something special about seeing Benedict Cumberbatch, whose on-screen presence radiates control and composure, crawling on his belly and fire-breathing dialogue for the worm Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. A few short featurettes about the creation of the dragon, and the Smaug mo-cap work, have gone online. They’re probably more fun than at least half the other stuff you could be watching. Check out a few below. Read More »

Desolation Of Smaug extended edition

The inevitable extended edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits blu-ray in November, and it will have 25 minutes added to the film. The second chapter in Peter Jackson‘s three-film adaptation of The Hobbit (with some other Tolkien material added) will feature quite a few extended scenes, and a host of behind the scenes documentaries, and commentaries from Jackson and writer Philippa Boyens. The bonus content runs to nine hours, which should keep fans busy until the December opening of the third and final film. Watch a clip from the Desolation of Smaug extended edition below. Read More »

Hobbit Battle of Five Armies teaser

Comic Con saw the premiere of footage from Peter Jackson‘s sixth and (probably) final Middle-Earth movie, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. While we can’t yet show you some things from that panel, such as the great blooper reel that opened the event, we can show you the Hobbit Battle of Five Armies teaser trailer now. After watching this, check out our coverage of the panel, which features a video presentation of the whole event. (Well, the whole event minus any film clips.) Read More »

The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson’s third and final Hobbit film has officially been renamed. It was first called The Hobbit: There and Back Again and now it’s officially been changed to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. It still opens December 17.

Below, read Peter Jackson’s reasoning behind the change. Read More »

The Hobbit: Into the Fire

At one point Peter Jackson‘s adaptation of The Hobbit was going to be two films, with one subtitled An Unexpected Journey and the second called There and Back Again. Now, with the series standing as three films, the final chapter is still called There and Back Again… but perhaps not for long. Rumors say that the third film will be given a new title, The Hobbit: Into the Fire. Read More »

smaug

Rest assured that when The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits Blu-ray on April 8, there will be hours of behind the scenes footage to illustrate in exhaustive detail the process of creating the film. But of all the possible views on the process of building The Desolation of Smaug, the one we’re perhaps most keen to learn about is the process of bringing its titular dragon to life.

A new featurette shows a bit of that process, including just a bit of footage of Benedict Cumberbatch in a mo-cap suit doing some all-in physical performance for Smaug. Oh, and in case you need some size reference for Smaug, one of his creators explains that he’s twice the size of a jumbo jet. Check out the video after the break.  Read More »

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