The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit II

Desolation of Smaug Gandolf Poster - 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

Hobbits - Smaug vs Richard Armitage as Thorin
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.

Bilbo Baggins Dragon Treasure

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.

Domestic: $213,379,000

Foreign: $423,800,000

Dragon Hoard of the Hobbits

Dragon Hoard of Smaug

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

Hobbit Barrel riders Smaug Desolation

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.

Desolation of Smaug Thorain and Dwarves

Richard Armitage as Thorin

Desolation of Smaug opens Midnight with $8.8 million

Desolation of smaug Orc Azog

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.

Desolation of Smaug The Hobbit

Lee Pace - Thranduil, King of the Wood Elves in Mirkwood

Lee Pace Thranduil - Desolation of Smaug

Orlando Bloom is onscreen again as Legolas, the Elf archer

Legolas Orlando Bloom

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.

Smaug the Dragon

Hobbit Desoaltion Fire Leap


The Hobbit Movies

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: The desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Know your dwarves: The dwarves of the Hobbit

Original Page Dec 2013 | Updated Aug 2015