1. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies – $56.2 million [debut week; $90.6 million since Wednesday opening] While Peter Jackson’s prequel trilogy of Middle Earth hasn’t been as revered as his first take, swarms of audiences wanted to see how it ended. And while there’s a number of new releases coming out in time for Christmas (Selma, Into the Woods and Unbroken) none cover the action adventure market so “Armies” could have some staying power. For the three-day period, “Armies” was well below the $73.6 million for “Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Extended Edition) [Blu-ray]” and the $84 million of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Extended Edition) (Blu-ray)” and was much less than the $124 million for “The Return of the King,” the final chapter of the beloved “The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray]” saga, but the five-day debut is still one of 2014’s best. Continue Reading
It doesn’t take very long while watching “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” to get the sense that this was the film Director Peter Jackson has been itching to make all along. Continue Reading
In anticipation of the final chapter of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” saga, check out these pictures featuring the characters and battles from the trilogy’s most action-packed installment. Continue Reading
In the liveliest and arguably best scene of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Orlando Bloom’s Legolas deftly navigates across a river, bouncing along the heads of this trilogy’s protagonists while being the arrow-slinging, goblin slayer that made him such a fan favorite in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
It’s a somewhat fitting statement indicative of the series thus far. Despite Director/Co-writer Peter Jackson’s grand intentions, “The Hobbit” trilogy is but a mere stepping stone to his fantasy genre-redefining LOTR series. Two films into “The Hobbit” trilogy, the majority of the best scenes have heavily featured LOTR characters or foreshadowed events of major significance.
It’s almost as if Jackson is saying “Stay tuned! This whole Middle Earth saga is about to get a lot more interesting!”
The early popular opinion was that J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode VII” was going to be one of summer 2015’s biggest summer blockbusters so the news that it was coming in on the tail end of the year surprised a lot of people.
But when you consider the competition, trying to carve out some space in the summer season wasn’t going to be worth the hassle. The “Star Wars” saga previously made a home in May, with each of the six films coming out in mid to late May. But since that’s become the domain of “The Avengers” franchise, distributor Walt Disney Pictures didn’t want its two highest profile properties competing for audience dollars. June is the only month that didn’t have a stiff challenger (apologies to the next “Jurassic Park”) and August isn’t the time to kick off a new franchise either.
I wasn’t all that impressed with Peter Jackson’s first return to Middle Earth in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” but I’m still anticipating his second installment, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”
That’s largely because we’re going to see the return of some kick-tail Elven warriors, including everyone’s favorite Legolas (Orlando Bloom). He’s going to be joined this time by Evangeline Lilly’s (“Lost“) Tauriel, a new character written in to the Hobbit universe by Jackson and his co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Continue Reading