It’s fair to say that ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Hobbit’ occupy very different places in the hearts of moviegoers. The former is undoubtedly one of the great modern stories of child empowerment, the latter is a return to the more traditional fantasy and adventure genre.
The latest ‘Hobbit’ movie hits theaters today (Dec. 12), and while the franchise (as with the others) is expected to make a lot of money, it’s clear that many fans are disappointed that the latest installment doesn’t live up to their high expectations. Even some of the film’s stars have spoken out about the low quality of the movie compared to others in the series.
We already know that J.K. Rowling’s fantasy epic is slated to collide with Warner Bros.’ take on ‘Harry Potter’ in a big-money, three-movie deal that will bring both series to the big screen. But will the two stories actually intersect in meaningful ways? Will they provide an answer to the question: Is magic real?
Let’s examine the facts:
A Three-Movie Mega-deal
Warner Bros. has reached a three-movie deal with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore LLC that will see her work appear on the big screen, while also offering new content for a virtual world based on the Harry Potter universe. The first two movies in the deal are expected to gross around $60 million-$70 million each, with the third earning slightly less — though, again, this is expected to be a major studio release so this figure is likely to rise.
The movies will be produced in association with New Regency, and while details about the plot are under wraps, we do know that the films will be in some way related to the Harry Potter universe. Warner Bros. already has a first draft of the screenplay for the first film in the deal, which is set for a December 2019 release:
- Gripe Water
- Bite of Satan
And here’s a breakdown of the individual cost of each movie:
First off, it should be noted that the $20 million-$30 million budget for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit is one of the most expensive movies ever made (at the time it was released). And, while Jackson’s return to Middle Earth is generally loved by fans, many are under the impression that the movie is a bit of a disappointment. Its box office returns aren’t looking great either, only reaching $30 million domestically (and $70 million worldwide).
The movie follows three adventurers, Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Frodo (Freeman), who are on a journey to save the world when a group of trolls attack them. (To be fair, the movie is 15 years old and was originally intended for a trilogy. But, given its phenomenal box office performance, Jackson decided to go for broke and make it a four-movie set.)
If you’re wondering what the $400 million plus cost of Jackson’s The Hobbit really means, it’s that the movie was originally going to be 3D, but then became so expensive that post-production became the sole purpose of the film. Everything else was cut, including much of the film’s score and Foley (sound effects) work. Hence, the movie is much tighter than usual.
Potter fans have been waiting years for a proper cinematic adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s wildly successful book series. The first ‘Harry Potter’ movie was released in 2001 and became a huge success, grossing over $400 million at the global box office. Since then, the franchise has been steadily gaining popularity, with the latest movie, Harry Potter and the Decoupling Partnership, bringing in over $800 million worldwide.
Warner Bros. hasn’t officially announced any sequels yet, but they’ve been linked to various reports in the past. One such report stated that a second film was in the works, with a script by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows scribe Jonathan W. Blakesley. Although that’s not been confirmed, Warner Bros. CEO Jim Hinzman did say in 2018 that he expects the Harry Potter franchise to continue for several more years.
Hinzman also talked about the franchise’s popularity, noting that there are now 700 million active users on the official Harry Potter website. He continued, “There are just so many different ways that people can engage with this content. And for those that want to, we provide a venue where they can do that.”
It’s clear that Warner Bros. is keen to continue the Harry Potter franchise, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be able to do so while also adapting ‘The Hobbit.’ Not only will they have to contend with the legacy of Peter Jackson, but also the growing power of Netflix and Amazon.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading! We hope this article has been helpful.