The Hobbit: Turning pages into gold, with an estimated page-to-screen ratio of over $9m per page
|NEWS - MOVIE NEWS|
Analysing just how Precious Tolkien's work is...
In a not completely unexpected development following much speculation at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, Peter Jackson confirmed recently that his upcoming Hobbit movies, the first of which, An Unexpected Journey, is due in theatres on 14th December this year, will become his second Tolkien trilogy, leaving no doubt that he is indeed the King of Middle Earth. This newly announced third part, as yet untitled, will follow the now middle episode There And Back Again, due almost a year to the day after the first movie, on 13th December 2012, a mere six months or so later in the summer of 2014.
Given that the original Lord of the Rings trilogy made a few dollars at the box office, nearly three billion of them (or $2,917,506,956 to be absolutely accurate), it’s a fair bet that the slim volume of Bilbo Baggins’s quest for treasure will have armies of moviegoers handing over their own loot to watch the titular Hobbit’s adventures with giant spiders, the mighty dragon Smaug, and the creature formerly known as Sméagol. In fact, while the box office takings for The Hobbit trilogy may or may not end up dwarfing those of its bigger brother, one thing that is certain is that the gross takings to original book page count ratio will be surpassed as surely as the Shire was Scoured by Lotho Sackville-Baggins.
Taking the not unrealistic assumption that The Hobbit trilogy will reap a similar amount of box office as the Rings trilogy, then if we divide the $2.9 billion dollars by the 1,555 pages that comprise the three Rings books* then Peter Jackson’s first foray into Middle Earth was valued at just shy of $1.8 million dollars per page ($1,876,210 to be exact), while The Hobbit’s much smaller page count of 310 pages mean it is worth a staggering $9.4 million dollars per page ($9,411,313 to be exact)!
Even Harry Potter’s net page worth can’t hold a wand to these figures, which, although when taking the page count of the UK edition of the books, clocking in at 3,407 pages (as opposed to the much higher 4,100 page count of the US editions, likely due to the different format used), still tower above the original Rings ratio by achieving a virtual worth of $2,261,857 per page when applied to the not too shabby $7,706,147,978 grossed by the eight movies, still fall far short of The Hobbit’s impressive figures.
That said, the boy wizard’s figures are still magic compared to those of the Twilight saga, which, assuming that Breaking Dawn Part 2 matches the first part’s box office of $705 million dollars, still only clocks in at a less than sparkly $1.3 million dollars per page. ($1,313,728 to be precise, based on estimated final box office of $3,213,379,328 for the series and a total page count of 2,446.)
As impressive as The Hobbit’s page to box office ratio is, however, a certain caution must be advised before Rings fans start quoting the figures to Teams Edward and Harry, as Peter Jackson has drawn heavily on Tolkien’s other works, such as The Silmarillion and the extensive Rings appendices, so the above must all be taken with a pinch of fairy dust, but if nothing else the stats do suggest that on a page by page basis, we are most definitely getting our money’s worth from the likes of Amazon and the many other book outlets out there!
* All figures used in this article are based on the relevant Wikipedia entries.
The key, astonishing figures are broken down in a handy infographic at RBB Digital Park.
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