The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Welcome back, SNL! Everyone's simultaneously beloved and hated live sketch comedy show returned last night after its holiday break and, naturally, they had to play catch-up, making fun of everything that they missed in the past couple of weeks. First on their list? 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.' Or rather, its eighteen sequels.
We were so impressed with the visuals coming from films like Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi,' Joss Whedon's 'The Avengers' (which was nominated for an Oscar, if you haven't heard) and The Wachowski's 'Cloud Atlas.' Even films we thought were horrible, like 'Snow White and the Huntsman,' painting imaginative portraits. So we had to see what film our readers thought provided the biggest payoff in terms of visual effects, and, in fact, Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' was the one that blew them all away.
Here's the thing about January: it's usually a wasteland. With the studios concentrating on their Oscar campaigns and the profitable summer months still half a year away, this month is where all of the crap usually gets dumped. However, this is also one of the few months where crap has a chance of performing well, hence the success of last year's 'The Devil Inside' and now 'Texas Chainsaw 3D,' which took the weekend with a strong $23 million opening.
Well, now we know why the box office was so incredibly light last week: everyone was waiting to see things this week! Although 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' clung to the top spot for the third week in a row, it was a very tight race, with only $4 million separating the top three films.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Jour
If you consider yourself to be the "ultimate" fan of 'The Hobbit' or J.R.R. Tolkien, you might want to rethink that statement, especially if you haven't met this Pennsylvania resident. Even 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' and 'The Lord of the Rings' movie trilogy director Peter Jackson, who has a piece of the actual 'Hobbit' set resting in his backyard, probably hasn't met this mysterious Middle Earth enthusiast who commissioned the construction of a real-life Shire...and it's primary function, other than looking magnificent, is to house his gigantic collection of Tolkien memorabilia.
Was there ever any doubt that 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' was going to dominate this weekend? Heck, it's probably going to dominate next weekend, too. If audiences embrace it like they did 'Lord of the Rings,' it may even dominate the week after that. The big question now is whether or not Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth will make a bunch of money, but exactly how many bunches.