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Holy Smaug Pile! Peter Jackson Spent How Much Making The Hobbit Trilogy?

Enough to buy multiple giant elks.

HobbitScroogePileLast year word was Peter Jackson’s time on The Hobbit trilogy so far cost double what The Lord of the Rings trilogy did to make. But a new report has the films running Smaug hoard numbers.

According to Box Office Mojo, Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films cost $281 million to make. Of course that was just a drop in the bucket as the films went on to make $2.92 billion at the box office, but it seems the bar of gold has gone even higher for The Hobbit.

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An Associated Press story posted on Yahoo says:

Financial documents filed this month in New Zealand, where the three movies are being made, show production costs through March had reached 934 million New Zealand dollars ($745 million).

The figures include filming and digital effects completed over several years but not the final eight months of production costs leading up to the scheduled December release of the final movie. It’s not clear from the documents whether worldwide marketing and distribution costs are included.

To which Candice McDonough, a senior vice president at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Entertainment, told AP “We don’t comment on production budgets.”

Together the films are the most expensive to date (though not if counted individually, but let’s face it, it should have just been one movie anyway). And so far the first two have made $1.98 billion, so I doubt anyone at New Line or Warner is going to complain. But still, that’s a chunk o’ change, and they certainly aren’t making the kind of profit they did on LotR.

The record for a single film with the highest production costs goes to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End with $300 million.

(thanks to our own Rebecca for the epic photoshop above)

Previously in The Hobbit

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Jill Pantozzi
Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."

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