Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
December 18, 2012
An Unexpected 169 Minute Journey
Kim Hollis: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened to $84.6 million. Is this a good enough result?
Jason Barney: Yes, it is. It is not as much as the studio would have liked, nor is it as much as some of the original tracking estimates, but everyone involved should be happy. $84 million now places "The Hobbit I" as the largest December opening ever, so this opening didn't miss by much. Comparisons to the other films in the franchise are bound to happen, but the real mark of how this one performs will be against the production budget. With the overall costs of this one being in the $250-270 million range, it should not have to work too hard. It is the most anticipated holiday release of the season, and should play really well as schools go on break. Then when you take in the international receipts, the film should do quite well.
Matthew Huntley: I agree with Jay this a good enough result, but it could have/probably should have been better, especially since the box-office was so soft the past couple weeks due to the anticipation of this first Hobbit film. What's mildly troubling is how front-loaded the film was and I hope this doesn't translate into short legs. In any event, it should be able to dominate the next two weekends with ease and gross at least as much as it cost to make, paving the way for the sequels. No matter what, these films were going to be a success.
Bruce Hall: Compared to the other films in the franchise this is an impressive opening, although I think most people were expecting closer to the $90 million plus range. It's that front loaded weekend that should be of minor concern to anyone with a financial stake in The Hobbit. It could suggest a lack of legs, but there's no real competition for this movie's audience over the next couple of weeks, so in the end I think Matthew is right. Forget all those bland reviews, I'm looking at that nine digit foreign gross. This film is going to be a success.
Edwin Davies: This is towards the lower end of what I was expecting given that The Hobbit is the long-awaited next (first?) installment in a phenomenally successful, critically acclaimed and groundbreaking series. However, viewed as the opening for the first film in a new trilogy, this is a pretty good result, since there was no guarantee that the audience would should up to see a film which only features a smattering of the original cast, many of whom play a much smaller role than they did in any of the Lord of the Rings films. Coupled with the general unease about the film being first two then three films and the nonsense over frame rates and The Hobbit had a lot to overcome even before the unenthusiastic reviews started pouring in. Basically, I think this is fine, probably a little low considering inflation and the addition of 3D, but still a decent start for the film.