Going into this weekend’s box office, Fandango tells me that James Bond’s Skyfall scooped up 65% of all online ticket sales before opening today. Not opening for another week, Twilight Saga’s Breaking Dawn Part 2 has 17%, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey took in 15% even though it won’t be released for more than a month. But Wednesday was the first day that the big online ticket-seller Fandango began selling The Hobbit and immediately Peter Jackson’s long-awaited first installment raced to the top of the charts at Fandango with 33% of total sales. Warner Bros/MGM will open the first of its Hobbit trilogy in theatres on December 14th. All three films also are selling at MovieTickets which tells me that on Wednesday The Hobbit was only #3 in sales. On Thursday the results were Skyfall 58.79% (41.74% for standard screens and 17.05% for IMAX), Breaking Dawn 23%, and Hobbit with just under 5%.
I already told you this was happening today beginning at noon ET for the first film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which Warner Bros will release December 14. Tickets are now available online and at theaters nationwide for all formats of the movie, which was shot in the nascent 3D 48 frames-per-second format and will be released in High Frame Rate 3D (HFR 3D), other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D. Chains like Regal are even explaining the new HFR 3D format as sales kick off (check that out here). Moviegoers who purchase advance tickets through MovieTickets.com will receive a free music download of the track “Old Friends” from the film’s score composed by Howard Shore. All three films are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM Pictures, with New Line managing production and Warner Bros Pictures handling worldwide theatrical distribution.
To say the Kiwis are all-in over native son Peter Jackson‘s locally shot The Hobbit trilogy is putting it lightly. Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, is calling itself The Middle Of Middle-earth, and there’s a giant clock atop the Embassy adorned with an image of Martin Freeman as Bilbo counting down the minutes to the premiere of the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in November. Now even Jackson (see if you can catch his Hitchcock-esque cameo) and Andy Serkis are aboard with Air New Zealand‘s new pre-flight instruction video. Maybe these branded pre-flights will catch on (Denzel Washington’s Flight, we’re not talking to you).
Warner Bros has posted a second TV spot for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This and the initial TV spot released Tuesday appear to be the first to note on the closing title page that the movie will be presented in HFR 3D (high-frame-rate/48fps) as well as RealD and IMAX 3D.
You wouldn’t know that Q3 was a tough period for exhibition companies based on the results out this morning from IMAX. The large-screen theater provider reported net income of nearly $15M, up 78.6% from the period last year, on revenues of $80.7M, +19.6%. The revenue figure beat the $76.1M that analysts expected. And earnings per share, at 22 cents, exceeded forecasts by a penny. IMAX says it installed 28 new theater systems in Q3, up from 25 in the period last year, and expects to add 46 in Q4. That would result in a 110 new theaters for all of 2012. It also signed contracts for 32 new systems. The company told analysts that it expects to to build as many as 125 theaters next year, not including digital upgrades. On the movie side, the gross box office at IMAX theaters was $173.2M, +15.9% from last year — but slightly shy of some analyst estimates. IMAX says that it will end this year having run 31 titles including this holiday season’s James Bond film from Sony, Skyfall, Lionsgate’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, and Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 3D.
Just ahead of its official bow, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will screen for Britain’s royal family as the 65th Royal Film Performance. The event will take place December 12 and benefits the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund, which cares for UK industry employees and their families who are suffering hardship. Warner Bros UK chief Josh Berger said, “It’s fitting that this film, with a significant number of British cast and crew, will help support the great work the CTBF does for those most in need in the UK’s film and television community.” British castmembers include Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis, Luke Evans and Benedict Cumberbatch. Warner Bros releases the film December 14.
The latest tease for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey dropped this morning. The merry dwarves are back along with menacing monsters and fresh footage since the first trailer from last December. This one also has extra Gollum. This will be the first picture in what recently became a trilogy of Hobbit movies. In July, it was confirmed that Jackson would split what was a planned two-picture story into three films from JRR Tolkien’s book and 125 pages of appendices that the author included in a later publication of final Lord Of The Rings installment, The Return Of The King. Set in Middle-earth, 60 years before LOTR, The Hobbit trilogy kicks off with n Unexpected Journey on December 14 this year, followed by The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Dec. 13, 2013 and The Hobbit: There And Back Again on July 18, 2014.
Warner Bros and MGM Pictures jointly announced today that the final film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy adaptation of the JRR Tolkien novel is now titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again. It will be released worldwide on July 18, 2014. All three films in the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. The Studios also announced the title of the second installment in the franchise, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which will be released on December 13, 2013. The first film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, opens this holiday season on December 14, 2012. Under Jackson’s direction, all three movies are being shot in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Additional filming, as with principal photography, is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.Shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second, the film trilogy will be released in High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D, other 3D formats, IMAX, and 2D.
Dan Fellman, Warner Bros Pictures President of Domestic Distribution said in a statement, “We wanted to have a shorter gap between the second and third films of The Hobbit Trilogy. Opening in July affords us not only the perfect summer tentpole, but fans will have less time …
Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.
For the Warner Bros/Legendary panel Comic-Con‘s big screen expanded to Cinerama proportions to impress fans with Pacific Rim and Godzilla teases while Man of Steel moved at least one fan to tears. For good measure, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey footage mixed familiar and new. Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick, dressed as David Tennant’s Doctor Who, moderated what was probably the most anticipated panel of the convention. He came in with a Sonic Screwdriver remote control, and suddenly two extra giant side screens were revealed as the black curtains peeled back. (Sort of like the Terminator 3D screen at Universal Studios.) This feels like what Cinerama was always supposed to be.
Legendary’s Thomas Tull came onstage, saying that his having a mic up there was a sign of the apocalypse, then briefly showed off how all the screens worked together for a Pacific Rim tease (metallic panels, serial numbers, vague sketches of pods – a mere taste for what was coming). Then Guillermo del Toro came out to say, in his inimitable, profane-comic fashion, “I’m shitting in my pants right now.” As he spoke and was pictured on the center screen, production designs and on-set footage flanked him on the side screens. He said it was important to have a sense of romantic adventure — not a war movie. And that it was important to have a sense of awe in a movie with giant robots and monsters. Del Toro said this will be the only thing shown until Christmas, and that this footage was just for us at Comic-con. Admonished “you motherfuckers with the James Bond cameras in the glasses, take them off.”
There was a huge reaction for Charlie Day coming out, and Ron Perlman (only in cavernous Hall H). Charlie Hunnam and Rink Kikuchi followed. Cheers for them too, but not quite as extra loud. How does Perlman feel about coming to Comic-Con? “It’s a miracle I’m still invited.” He says Guillermo’s standards are clearly plummeting since he keeps inviting Perlman back.
Here are a few more snapshots from Deadline contributor Luke Y. Thompson of booths or displays set up so far. They’re fairly obvious, but clockwise from top left: Elysium, Iron Man 3, The Expendables 2 panel featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hello Kitty, Game Of Thrones, After Earth.
Additional Comic-Con previews:
- Comic-Con TV Preview: July 11-13
- Comic-Con TV Preview: July 14-15
- Arnold Coming To Comic-Con; Does This Make Schwarzenegger Officially Back?
- ‘Elysium’ Brings Jodie Foster To Comic-Con As Movies Rub Elbows With TV Series
- Quentin Tarantino, ‘Iron Man 3′, ‘The Hobbit’, ‘Pacific Rim’ Juice Comic-Con Saturday
- ‘World War Z’ Author, Movie Poster Maestro Drew Struzan Highlight Sunday Comic-Con
- Comic-Con: WTF Moments, Past And Potential
The Hobbit movies have finished filming in New Zealand, director Peter Jackson announced on Facebook. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres December 14th followed a year later almost to the day (December 13th, 2013) by its sequel There And Back Again. Jackson notes he’ll be at Comic-Con next weekend to promote the movies.
Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage. This year’s event runs July 12-15.
Ever since 20th Century Fox showed the naked wrestling scene from Borat a few years ago at Comic-Con, the convention has been a lot stricter about R-rated clips, and companies like The Weinstein Co. and Lionsgate have scheduled off-site events for edgier genre fare such as Machete and the later Saw sequels. But when an icon of pop culture asks for a panel at the biggest pop-culture convention, well, you give Quentin Tarantino a Saturday slot in Hall H to show Django Unchained clips. Cast members who’ll attend were not announced in the Saturday lineup posted today. That may mean they probably don’t know if Jamie Foxx’s schedule will allow it for sure (last time I remember him coming down was for Stealth. Remember that one?). Similarly, the special guests for Marvel’s Iron Man 3 panel also remain anonymous so far, though I’ll be amazed if Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t show up, as he tends to make appearances every year. Expect that Marvel panel to also show something for Thor 2, and maybe make a more formal announcement about Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man and the Russo brothers’ Captain America sequel.
The Warner Bros-Legendary panel is shaping up as the must-see of the show, with footage from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Zack Snyder’s Superman movie Man Of Steel the obvious draws, and Pacific Rim (aka Guillermo del Toro’s “giant fucking monsters against giant fucking robots”) likely to please. Rumors have been circulating that there may be another giant monster in the house, as Legendary has a Godzilla remake in the pipeline.
Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will have its world premiere November 28 in New Zealand — two weeks before its U.S. debut and on Jackson’s home turf. Warner Bros bows the film in the states December 14, 2012; the second film in the series, The Hobbit: There And Back Again, is set for domestic release December 13, 2013. New Line Cinema and MGM teamed on the movies, the prequels to the JRR Tolkein novels that begat Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Filming on the Hobbit movies is taking place at Stone Street Studios in Wellington and on location throughout New Zealand.
After less than glowing audience reaction to clips of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey screened in ultra-high-resolution at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, director Peter Jackson says “Nobody is going to stop. This technology is going to keep evolving.” But he hopes moviegovers will wait and judge the finished movie when it comes out December 14. Some observers at the CinemaCon presention thought the imagery shot and projected at 48 frames per second was too sharply different visually from the longtime industry standard of 24 frames per second. A three-time Oscar winner echoed Jackson’s observation. “I think we should let him finish it and see what it’s like then, but it seems a little like the look of a soap opera”. Jackson said he noticed that some in the audience seemed to like it more as the show went on. “I just wonder if they were getting into the dialogue, the characters and the story. That’s what happens in the movie. You settle into it.”
Peter Jackson and others describe the massive undertaking of transporting equipment, sets, cast and crew as well as providing shelter, food and water to remote locations in New Zealand.
UPDATE: Coding has been fixed. Here’s something many people have been waiting for so here you are. Doesn’t really need an introduction but this packs a lot into 2½ minutes.
Thousands of film fans responded to the survey, which was posted on Fandango.com during the first weeks of December. According to male moviegoers, the most anticipated blockbuster of 2012 will be Warner Bros’ The Hobbit, while for females, it’s Summit’s Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2. When it comes to remakes, men are most anticipating Sony’s Total Recall while women are most looking forward to Warner Bros’ The Great Gatsby. Several studios are missing from these lists, so it looks like some marketing departments have to play catch-up in the coming months:
THE MOST ANTICIPATED BLOCKBUSTER IN 2012:
According to Men:
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros)
2. The Avengers (Marvel/Disney)
3. The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros)
4. The Bourne Legacy (Universal)
5. Men in Black III (Sony)
According to Women:
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 (Summit)
2. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate)
3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros)
4. Dark Shadows (Warner Bros)
5. The Avengers (Marvel/Disney)
THE MOST ANTICIPATED REMAKE IN 2012:
According to Men:
1. Total Recall (Sony)
2. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony)
3. The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros)
4. Snow White And The Huntsman (Universal)
5. Mirror Mirror (Relativity)
According to Women:
1. Snow White And The Huntsman (Universal)
2. The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros)
3. Mirror Mirror (Relativity)
4. Total Recall (Sony)
5. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony)
Peter Jackson disclosed Friday that he was working with one of the West Memphis 3 toward obtaining a full pardon. “We’re doing investigative work, we’re doing forensic work,” Jackson said, for “the purpose of getting a complete pardon” for Damien Echols. Jackson disclosed that Echols was in New Zealand at a press conference to announce that the first of the director’s two movies based on The Hobbit would have its world premiere in Wellington. Jackson received an exemption from New Zealand law to allow Echols to visit. Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh have been working for several years to help free Echols, who along with Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley were released in August after serving 18 years in prison for the murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Convicted of the murders, they continued to maintain their innocence but pleaded guilty to lesser charges to gain release from prison. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, third of three documentaries about their plight, screened earlier this month at the New York Film Festival after it was recut to include their release. It is scheduled to debut on HBO in January.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is set to premiere in Wellington in late November 2012, director Sir Peter Jackson and Prime Minister John Key announced today at the Hobbiton set in Waikato. Wellington previously hosted the world premiere of the final Lord of the Rings movie, Return of the King, in December 2003. Over 100,000 people packed into the city’s CBD to watch the preceding parade. “I think Warner Bros. in particular were blown away by the Return of the King premiere – no one in the international industry could quite believe how the country got behind that,” Sir Peter said today. An Unexpected Journey hits theaters December 14, 2012. The second movie The Hobbit: There and Back Again opens December 13, 2013.
You can watch Jackson’s complete (11:19) announcement here.