The Hobbit Wins Weekend Top Ten Box Office

By on December 17, 2012
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1. The Hobbit/WB Wknd/$ 84.8 Total/$ 84.8
2. Rise of the Guardians/PDW Wknd/$ 7.4 Total/$ 71.4
3. Lincoln/Touchstone Wknd/$ 7.2 Total/$ 107.9
4. Skyfall/Sony Wknd/$ 7.0 Total/$ 272.4
5. Life of Pi/Fox Wknd/$ 5.4 Total/$ 69.6
6. Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2 Wknd/$ 5.2 Total/$ 276.9
7. Wreck-It-Ralph/Disney Wknd/$ 3.3 Total/$ 168.8
8. Playing For Keeps/FD Wknd/$ 3.2 Total/$ 10.8
9. Red Dawn/FD Wknd/$ 2.4 Total/$ 40.9
10. Silver Linings Playbook/Weinstein Wknd/$ 2.0 Total/$ 17.0

If Steven Spielberg and Ben Affleck were worried about Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth being their Oscar competition, they can stop. Hell, it might not even take all the technical awards in a year of Prometheus and The Avengers. Sorry, but there’s nothing here we haven’t seen before and none of it is presented in a way that makes it more interesting than the last time we saw Gandalf, a hobbit and a band of warriors set off on a quest (complete with a quick stop by the elf hut). In fact the most interesting thing about this particular quest is its unseen subject: the gold loving dragon that drives the dwarves from their homeland. Much has been made over Peter Jackson choosing to shoot at faster frame rate…much by very few as the average person could really care less and all it really accomplishes is to reveal the illusion to be an illusion. When something isn’t real, the last thing you need to do is put a magnifying glass on it. At times the combination of the clarity and 3D (which I hate, but it was a free screening and beggars can’t be choosers) makes it look like one of those old Viewmaster slides. Yeah, it’s clearly three dimensions, but not in a way you like. But these are just technicalities; the real disappointment is the story. The Ring Trilogy made three films from three books. The Hobbit is three films from one book and it’s padded like an infant’s car seat. It has not one but two preludes and takes almost an hour to get going, most of that is hanging out in the shire with the aged Bilbo we met in the first LOTR movie as he prepares for the party we saw and writes his memoirs to give to Frodo (who cameos of course). Then we meet the younger Bilbo and the 13 dwarves who he will accompany on their quest and we watch them eat and sing. How can I be convinced of the urgency of their quest if the filmmakers aren’t? When it finally kicks into gear with battles with giant trolls, pale goblins and the old standby murderous orcs, it’s entertaining enough but burdened by an overwhelming “sameness.” Only Andy Serkin adds a new, more dangerous edge to a younger Gollum. It’s not a bad movie, but then again, it’s not a movie at all; only part of one.

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