I was so enamored with Peter Jackson and his Lord of the Rings trilogy a decade ago that it hurts my heart to see him now as merely Smaug, a monstrous collector of coin or even as Gollum, hanging so tight to his precioussssssss (Middle Earth) that he's lost sight of everything that once made him an artist and not a brand. It happens to a lot of über successful people. It's grown increasingly difficult to shake the feeling that his days as a great filmmaker are long gone and maybe ended with the remarkable fantasy trilogy, perhaps casting off to Grey Havens with the elves at the end of The Return of the King. Since then Jackson has made one beautiful but wildly bloated epic (King Kong) that suggested he might have a George Lucas problem (no one willing to tell him "no"), one outright terrible misfire of a whatsit? (The Lovely Bones) that suggested he might not know what the hell he's doing anymore and now The Hobbit, which was a relatively short book that has been stretched into three long films for only one reason: coin.
Maybe that's not a charitable assumption since I haven't seen the film (I REALLY don't want to spoil my Lord of The Rings experience which was beautiful and just-right) but if three big films was enough to cover (grandly) three thick books, three big films is too much to cover one thin one. But on that sordid topic of coin -- we haven't discussed box office in a month -- The Hobbit earned a ton of it though surely not as much as intended given that that seems to have been its entire intent as a cash cow prologue.
Box Office Top Twenty - Actuals
01 THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY $84.7
02 RISE OF THE GUARDIANS $7.4 (cum. $71.3) Capsule Review
03 LINCOLN $7.2 (cum. $107.8) Podcast Discussion
04 SKYFALL $7 (cum $272.3) My Review & Deborah's Review
05 LIFE OF PI $5.4 (cum. $69.5) Michael on the Ending
06 THE TWILIGHT: AN EXPECTED ENDING $5.1 (cum. $276.8)
07 WRECK-IT RALPH $3.2 (cum. $168.7)
08 PLAYING FOR KEEPS $3.2 (cum $10.8)
09 RED DAWN $2.3 (cum $40.8)
10 SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK $2 (cum $16.9) Beau's Review
In other moneyed news: Lincoln continues to illustrate that Abraham had long legs and still knows how to use them (100+ million and counting for a talky drama about ideas. WTH? Sasha points out that it's now in the money lead of all the Oscar contenders); Silver Linings Playbook continues to underwhelm (not that it had a chance to break out given that it's a mainstream movie that peculiarly decided to pretend it was an arthouse film); And Anna Karenina ought to be proud of that gross given the cold shoulder it's gotten from awards bodies.
Where did you spend your precioussssss coin this weekend?