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AUJ theatrical poster

The theatrical poster for the film.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a 2012 epic fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson. It is the first installment of a three-part film adaptation based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. It is followed by The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), and together they had acted as a prequel to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

The story is set in Middle-earth sixty years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, and portions of the film were adapted from the appendices to Tolkien's The Return of the King. An Unexpected Journey tells the tale of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is convinced by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to accompany thirteen Dwarves, led byThorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch (who does not speak in the first film)).

The film's screenplay was written by Peter Jackson, his longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro, who was originally chosen to direct the film before leaving the project in 2010. The ensemble cast also includes James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Woodand Andy Serkis, and features Sylvester McCoy, Barry Humphries and Manu Bennett.

An Unexpected Journey premiered on November 28, 2012 in New Zealand and was released internationally on December 12, 2012. The film has grossed over $1 billion at the box office, surpassing both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers nominally, becoming the fourth highest-grossing film of 2012 and the 17th highest grossing film of all time. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. It was also nominated for three BAFTA Awards.

SynopsisEdit

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever... Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities... A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

PlotEdit

Prologue: The Fall of EreborEdit

In TA 3001, an 111th-year-old Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins lit a candle in the middle of the night and began to write a book called There and Back Again for his nephew Frodo Baggins to let him know about the things that he did not told about his adventures.

He wrote, prior to his own actual involvement, about the city of Dale's peace and prosperity and the kingdom of Erebor's riches and mining, ruled by the King Under the Mountain, Thrór with his son Thráin, and grandson Thorin. In TA 2770, the Arkenstone, the heart of the mountain, had been founded and it was named by Thror as the King's Jewel and took it as a sign that his right to rule was divine, and all (including the Elvenking Thranduil) would pay homage to him. However, the years of peace and plenty had ended and the days had turned sour, a sickness began to grow within Thror and his love for gold had blinded him with greed, and if his sickness continued to thrive, deadly consequences would occur.

Some time later, Smaug, a Fire-drake from the North, had came and destroyed Dale with his fire and killed many lives, but his eye was not on the city, but on the treasure of Erebor as he had a fierce desire for gold. Thorin, along with his father Thrain and the guards of the kingdom charged to the entrance, while Thror ran to his throne to receive the Arkenstone. Smaug broke through the gate, killed many of the guards by burning or trampling them, and made waves in the hoard of treasure. Thror, who was running the heart of the mountain, tripped when he saw the Dragon, dropped it into the hoard, and Thorin dragged him away before he could reach in to grab it back.

All the surviving Dwarves had lost their kingdom as the Dragon would plunder the treasure as long as he lived, and ran for their lives. When they saw Thranduil and his army, Thorin called him to help them, but the Elvenking and his kin turned away, because he didn't want to just send his army to deaths against Smaug and the Elves never helped the Dwarves since, which would develop Thorin's great hatred and distrust of their kin.

He and the Dwarves were forced to live in exile and were able to reach the Blue Mountains, where they had worked in labor in the villages of Men, and Thorin never forgave nor forgot of the day they lost their homeland.

In a Hole in the Ground There Lived a HobbitEdit

The next morning, Bilbo explained that this was were he came in and his tale would begin by the will of a Wizard and it began with the quoteIn a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, full of worms and oozy smells; this was a Hobbit-hole, and that means good food, a warm hearth, and all the comforts of home.

Later his nephew, Frodo, checked the mailbox and received the replies to the invitations for Bilbo's 111th birthday party and set them on his uncle's desk. He later picked up the picture of Bilbo's younger self and asked him what it was, but Bilbo told him to keep his hands off it and told him that the book he was writing was not ready for reading. While Frodo examined one of Bilbo's old objects he told him that the letters were the replies to his birthday party, much to Bilbo's surprise, and told him that only the Sackville-Bagginses were not coming and were still wanting to have Bag End in person and believed that it had tunnels overflowed with gold, though his uncle told him that they would have the house over his dead body and that he only had a single chest that never overflowed but still reeked of Troll.

Bilbo then started to take precautions, hid all of his valuables, and told Frodo (who was confused of his behavior) that Lobelia Sackville-Baggins had stolen all of his spoons stuffed in her pockets once, and told him to keep an eye on her (but he wasn't ready to tell Frodo that he was leaving the Shire). Frodo then told Bilbo that all the other Hobbits were beginning to wonder about him because since his adventures they thought that he was being odd and unsociable, but his uncle denied the thoughts and told him to put up the sign he made that read:"NO ADMITTANCE EXCEPT ON PARTY BUSINESS".

After he hammered the sign to his uncle's gate, Frodo asked if Gandalf will come to the party, and Bilbo answered that he wouldn't miss a chance to light up his fireworks and would give them a good show. His nephew then told him that he was going to the East Farthing Woods to surprise him and ran off, and Bilbo's narration reappeared and told that Frodo was didn't approve to being late, nor did he, as when he was young, he was always on time, was entirely respectable, and nothing unexpected ever happened.

CastEdit

The * indicates that the actor and character appears only in the Extended Edition.

The ** indicates that the actor and character's role is extended in the Extended Edition.

CreditedEdit

UncreditedEdit

ProductionEdit

A film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit (1937) was in development for several years after the critical and financial success of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003), co-written, co-produced, and directed by Peter Jackson. Jackson was initially going to produce a two-film adaptation of The Hobbit, which was to be directed by Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro left the project in May 2010, after about two years of working with Jackson and his production team, due to delays caused in part by financial problems at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Jackson was announced as director that October.

The Hobbit films were produced back to back, like The Lord of the Rings films. Principal photography for The Hobbit films began on March 21, 2011 in New Zealand and ended on July 6, 2012, after 266 days of filming. Pick-ups for An Unexpected Journey were filmed in July 2012 as well. Work on the film was expected to be completed on November 26, just two days prior to the film's Wellington premiere.

High frame rateEdit

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey used a shooting and projection frame rate of 48 frames per second, becoming the first feature film with a wide release to do so. The new projection rate was advertised as "High Frame Rate" to the general public. However, the majority of cinemas projected the film at the industry standard 24 fps after the film was converted.

ScoreEdit

The musical score for An Unexpected Journey was composed by Howard Shore. It was performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and featured several vocal soloists. The original song Song of the Lonely Mountain, sung by Neil Finn, served as the end title theme. The album received nominations for various awards and peaked in the top ten charts in Korea and the United States.

DistributionEdit

MarketingEdit

The first trailer for An Unexpected Journey was first screened before the Jackson-produced The Adventures of Tintin in the US on December 21, 2011, and released on the Internet on the same day. Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times said, "While it was all too fleeting there was enough in it to stir the heart of fans." Jen Chaney of The Washington Poststated, "Visually and tonally, this preview for [An Unexpected Journey] looks like a perfect match for the Frodo Baggins tales that released in 2001, 2002 and 2003. […] But plot isn't the main matter at hand in the trailer… This clip is all about reacquainting us with Middle-earth."

Jackson, Freeman, McKellen, Armitage, Serkis, Wood, and co-screenwriter Philippa Boyensappeared at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International promoting the film and screening 12 minutes of footage.

On October 8, 2012, Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown announced that for the week of the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the capital of New Zealand would be renamed the "Middle of Middle-earth".

Theatrical releaseEdit

The world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey took place on November 28, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand, with a full theatrical release in New Zealand on December 12. The film was released December 13, 2012 in Europe, December 14, 2012 in India, Canada and United States, and December 26, 2012 (Boxing Day) in Australia. It was also screened at the 65th Royal Film Performance in London on December 12, 2012.

Around 100,000 people lined the red carpet on Courtenay Place for the film's premiere, and the entire event was broadcast live on TV in New Zealand, as well as streaming over the internet.

Home mediaEdit

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on March 19, 2013, with an extended edition, with 13 minutes of additional footage and two bonus discs containing approximately nine hours of special features, released on November 5, 2013. In the United Kingdom, the film was released on April 8, 2013.

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

An Unexpected Journey grossed $303,003,568 in the United States and Canada and $714 million elsewhere, bringing to a worldwide total of $1,017,003,568. It became the fourth highest-grossing film of 2012, and the 17th highest-grossing film of all time. It scored a worldwide opening weekend of $222.6 million, including $15.1 million from 452 IMAX theaters around the world, which was an IMAX opening-weekend record for December.

North AmericaEdit

An Unexpected Journey earned $13.0 million during its midnight run, setting a December midnight record (previously held byAvatar). It then topped the box office on its opening day (Friday, December 14, 2012) earning $37.1 million from 4,045 theaters (midnight earnings included), setting a December opening-day record (previously held by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King). By the end of its first weekend it grossed $84.62 million, finishing in first place and setting a December opening-weekend record (previously held by I Am Legend). 3D showings accounted for 49% of weekend ticket sales while IMAX showings generated $10.1 million (12% of the weekend gross). The film held onto the top spot for a second weekend, despite declining 57% to $36.7 million. An Unexpected Journey remained at the top of the box office during its third weekend, dropping only 11% to $32.9 million.

Other territoriesEdit

An Unexpected Journey earned $11.2 million on its opening day (Wednesday, December 12, 2012) from 16 markets. Through its first Sunday, it managed a 5-day opening-weekend gross of just under $138.0 million. It topped the box office outside North America on two consecutive weekends. In Sweden, it scored the second-largest 5-day opening with $6.20 million (behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2). Its three largest openings occurred in the UK, Ireland and Malta ($18.8 million), Russia and the CIS ($17.8 million), and Germany ($17.1 million).

Critical reactionEdit

After the New Zealand premiere, Television New Zealand noted that critical responses were "largely positive" but with "mixed responses to the film's technological advances".After the film's international release, Forbes called reviews "unenthusiastic" and the Los Angeles Times said the critical consensus is that the film "stumbles". The film holds a 65% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 271 reviews with an average score of 6.6/10. The site's main consensus reads "Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth is an earnest, visually resplendent trip, but the film's deliberate pace robs the material of some of its majesty." On aggregate review siteMetacritic, the film has a score of 58 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews", based on collected reviews from 40 critics. The main contention of debate was regarding the film's length, its controversial High Frame Rate, and whether or not the film matched the level of expectation built from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, while the film's visual style, special effects, music score and cast were praised, especially the performances of Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage and Andy Serkis. According toCinemaScore polls the film received an "A" grade from audiences.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone criticised the film's use of "48 frames per second… Couple that with 3D and the movie looks so hyper-real that you see everything that's fake about it… The 169 minutes of screen time hurts, since the first 45 minutes of the film traps us in the hobbit home of the young Bilbo Baggins," but continued, "Once Bilbo and the dwarves set on their journey… things perk up considerably. Trolls, orcs, wolves and mountainous monsters made of remarkably pliable stone bring out the best in Jackson and his Rings co-screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens." Robbie Collin of The Telegraph said in a 2-star review "Thank heavens for Andy Serkis, whose riddling return as Gollum steals the entire film. It is the only time the digital effects and smoother visuals underline, rather than undermine, the mythical drama of Bilbo's adventure. As a lover of cinema, Jackson’s film bored me rigid; as a lover of Tolkien, it broke my heart." He felt the film was "so stuffed with extraneous faff and flummery that it often barely feels like Tolkien at all – more a dire, fan-written internet tribute." Time Out magazine's Keith Uhlich praised the film as "A mesmerizing study in excess, Peter Jackson and company's long-awaited prequel to the Lord of the Rings saga is bursting with surplus characters, wall-to-wall special effects, unapologetically drawn-out story tangents and double the frame rate (48 over 24) of the average movie." The Guardianmagazine's Peter Bradshaw commented on use of high frame rate technology and length of the film, writing "After 170 minutes I felt that I had had enough of a pretty good thing. The trilogy will test the stamina of the non-believers, and many might feel ... that the traditional filmic look of Lord of the Rings was better." Richard Lawson from The Atlantic Wire commented on the film's "video game"-like visual effects, saying "this is a dismally unattractive movie, featuring too many shots that I'm sure were lovely at some point but are now ruined and chintzified by the terrible technology monster."

Matthew Leyland of Total Film said in a five-star review that it is "Charming, spectacular, technically audacious… in short, everything you expect from a Peter Jackson movie. A feeling of familiarity does take hold in places, but this is an epically entertaining first course." Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine awarded the film 3 stars out of 4, and called it "The first of an arguably gratuitous three-part cine-extravaganza." Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter said that "Jackson and his colleagues have created a purist's delight… [And leads to] an undeniably exciting, action-packed climax." McCarthy did however feel that "Though there are elements in this new film that are as spectacular as much of the Rings trilogy was… there is much that is flat-footed and tedious as well, especially in the early going." Kate Muir of The Times gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, saying Martin Freeman "perks up" the film as Bilbo Baggins and that Jackson's use of 48 frames per second 3D technology gives the film "lurid clarity". In a four-star review, Dan Jolin of Empirefelt "The Hobbit plays younger and lighter than Fellowship and its follow-ups, but does right by the faithful and has a strength in Martin Freeman's Bilbo that may yet see this trilogy measure up to the last one". He gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, stating "There is treasure here".

Extended EditionEdit

An extended edtion of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with 13 minutes of additional footage and three bonus discs containing approximately nine hours of special features was released on November 5, 2013.

The extended edition had included twelve extended scenes, two new scenes, four alternative scenes, three re-edited scenes, and 3 scenes where in the theatrical version is longer.

Extended ScenesEdit

Prologue: The Fall of EreborEdit

Scene 1Edit

When Thranduil came to Lonely Mountain, Thrór sent a Dwarf to bring him a jewel case filled with white gems. Before the Elvenking could lay his fingers on them, the case holder rudely shut the lid before his very nose, leaving Thrór looking determined and Thranduil leaving the mountain alonng with his lieutenants enraged (which would develop the Elvenking's distrust with Dwarves).

Bilbo commented while the scene was shown: "As the great wealth of the Dwarves grew their store of good ran thin. No one knows exactly what began the rift. The Elves say the Dwarves stole their treasure. The Dwarves tell another tale. They say the Elvenking refused to give them their rightful pay. It is sad, Frodo, how old alliances can be broken. How friendships between peoples can be lost." Later, Bilbo (who was writing the story in Bag End) questioned himself, "And for what?" as he dipped his quil for more ink.

Scene 2Edit

As Smaug attacked the city of Dale, Girion grabbed the next to last Black Arrow and used his long bow to shoot it at one of the dragon's scales, but the arrow just bounced off.

(Also Bilbo's comment while he narrated: "Such wanton death was dealt that day," was put in this scene; in the theatrical version it occured some seconds later)

Scene 3Edit

As the last hammer beat was heard, a shot of fireworks was shown in the sky. Gandalf appeared in action, presenting his magic powers far away from Erebor, at the Old Took's party, and the Hobbits and the Old Took himself having a good time. A little Hobbit child approached the Wizard hitting him playfully with his toy sword who turned out to be Bilbo. His mother Belladonna Took ran to her son and grabbed away his sword but talked to Gandalf (which would later make the Wizard to feel fond of the little Hobbit and choose him as the burglar for Thorin and Company many years later) and the Old Bilbo was show smiling about his past, just before the Hobbiton landscape was revealed.

Bilbo commented as the scene was shown: "Far away, in another corner of the world dragons were only make-believe. A party trick conjured by Wizards on Midsummer's Eve. No more frightening than fairy dust. And that, my dear Frodo, is where I come in. It was the beginning of an unlikely friendship that has lasted all my life."

"Blunt the Knives"Edit

Scene 1Edit

As Bilbo stumbled helplessly around the house, trying to save his food and drink from the Dwarves, one of them, Bifur, said to him in Dwarvish tongue that the Hobbit couldn't understand. Óin told him that Bifur had an injury, but as Bilbo sarcastically told him about the axe on his head, the Dwarf put his trumpet to his ear and misheard him, implying that Bifur was not dead, but the axe only affected his ears but he could still move his legs.

AccoladesEdit

The film received three Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, and Best Makeup and Hairstylingas well as praise from critics organization Broadcast Film Critics Association and from critics groups, such as the Houston Film Critics Society, Phoenix Film Critics Society and Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. The film's team won an Academy Scientific and Technical Award - the Scientific and Engineering Award for inventing a technique which has made huge advances in bringing to life computer-generated characters such as Gollum in the film to the screen. In January 2013, it was announced The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was nominated in the Best Live Action Motion Picture category at the Cinema Audio Society Awards, awarded on February 16.

An Unexpected Journey led the nominations at the 39th Saturn Awards with nine, more than The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring which earned eight nominations at the time of its release. These nominations included Best Director (Peter Jackson's eleventh Saturn Award nomination), Best Actor for Martin Freeman, Best Supporting Actor for Ian McKellen (his third nomination for playing Gandalf) and Best Music for Howard Shore. It won Best Production Design for Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent and Simon Bright.

An Unexpected Journey also earned five nominations at the 18th Empire Awards, winning in two categories, Best Actor for Martin Freeman and Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Film. It also earned two nominations at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards in the categories Best Scared-as-S**t Performance and Best Hero for Martin Freeman. Freeman won the latter award for his performance. It has gathered 6 nominations at the 2013 SFX Awards, including Best Film, Best Director for Peter Jackson and four acting nominations.

GalleryEdit

Main article: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey/Gallery

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