The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit II
Peter Jackson's second film in the Hobbit trilogy shows the most strain in bringing Tolkein's relatively small book to the screen. There are repetitions and more evidence of padding, versus the constant breakneck action interspersed with slower scenes (as in Lord of the Rings and Hobbit An Unexpected Journey) to let the audience catch up with the tale.
Dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield is the center of how Jackson has built his story for the three films, and Richard Armitage has a lot to do to try and maintain the urgency of the tale in Smaug without actually being able to pay off the audience for its attention with either the madness of Thorin (which appears in full bloom in The Battle of Five Armies) or in the destruction of Smaug (which also appears in Battle of Five Armies.)
So what does The Desolation of Smaug have going for it? Sequences of the dwarves dealing with the elves, Legolas on the loose slaying orcs, and the escape from the elves and arrival at the Lonely Mountain. Also onscreen is Laketown, where a whole human city floats about, with Luke Evans the unofficial and reluctant rebel leader to Stephen Fry's vicious but ridiculous Master of Laketown.
The special effects are huge, dominating and make the action under Lonely Mountain engrossing.
Azog the Defiler is still charging forward trying to get his only hand on the hobbit and dwarves that are racing across Middle Earth.
The flaw of the film is that it does its modest mission all to well... it connects An Unexpected Journey to The Battle of Five Armies without giving too much away, which tends to make this center film in the trilogy saggy in places and unable to actually produce any climax that befits its scope.
As the sandwich meat between the two other films, Smaug does fine, but doesn't stand up all on its own in comparison with it's two sibling movies.
|Hobbit Film||Year||Domestic Earnings||Worldwide|
|An Unexpected Journey||2012||$303,003,568||$1,017,003,568|
|The Desolation of Smaug||2013||$258,366,855||$953,066,855|
|The Battle of Five Armies||2014||$220,767,000||$956,019,788|
April 17, 2014: Hobbit finally ends its theater run. Total earnings accumulation is $953,066,855 worldwide after a 126 day theater run. This makes Hobbit II just short of Hobbit The Unexpected Journey $1,017,003,568 total in worldwide earnings.
Martin Freeman as Bilbo
Jan 29, 2014: Worldwide earnings now at: $847,861,318
Jan 2, 2014 Update: Smaug has now amassed a $637 million USD haul from world wide receipts, and has been battling with Disney's Frozen for the number one slot for attendance over the long holiday period of 2013 - 2014.
Dragon Hoard of the Hobbits
Dec 24, 2013: Hobbit II - Desolation of Smaug hits $411 million in world wide earnings, at least on this planet's release across 16,830 movie screens. According to boxofficemojo, Smaug's 11-day total is now at $135 million in domestic earnings, vs the 11th day earning for Hobbit #1 of $156 million.
December 23, 2013: The worldwide release of the Hobbit sequel is playing across 16,830 screens on tis planet, and has brought in another $96 million - making the total in the release thus far an approx $402 million USD.
December 19, 2013: Hobbit II is rolling along collecting excellent box office: $221,542,832 in combined worldwide and domestic market totals after the premier weekend. Though slightly down in earnings domestically compared to The Hobbit and Unexpected Journey, Desolation of Smaug is actually ahead of the previous film on worldwide numbers.
Hobbit II down compared to Unexpected Journey
December 16, 2013 Update: The weekend opening earnings are now at an estimated $73.7 million. This gives Smaug the ranking of the number four all-time opening in the month of December. This also puts it at 13 percent down from the opening for The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey which pulled $84.6 million during it's December 2012 run.
December 15, 2013: The film industry ticket-sale expectations for Desolation of Smaug have sized down sligthly from the hoped for $80 million opening weekend to estimates of $72+ instead. This film is already at $204 million in worldwide earnings, putting it behind the first prequel film (Unexpected Journey) which had $222 in worldwide earnings when it opened. The lower ticket sales are being attributed to rough weather over part of the United States and for a generally lower overall boxoffice for all films dues to economic anxieties.
Richard Armitage as Thorin
Desolation of Smaug opens Midnight with $8.8 million
Dec 13, 2013: The Peter Jackson sequel to last years Hobbit Unexpected Journey has pulled $8.8 million so far in midnight showings. (Unexpected Journey had $13 million in midnight shows). So far, number-experts are predictimg an $80 million haul for Hobbit II through this weekend.
Lee Pace - Thranduil, King of the Wood Elves in Mirkwood
Orlando Bloom is onscreen again as Legolas, the Elf archer
Smaug, the titular star of the film, only really makes an appearance toward the end of Desolation of Smaug, and then proceeds to try and BBQ all the dwarves he can find.
The Hobbit Movies
Original Page Dec 2013 | Updated Aug 2015