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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (originally titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again) is an epic fantasy adventure film and the third and final instalment of the three-part movie adaptations of J. R. R. Tolkien's classic novel, The Hobbit, as well as the final installment of director Sir Peter Jackson's Middle-earth Saga. It follows An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and together, they act as the prequel trilogy to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Filming took place primarily in New Zealand. The film stars Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Sir Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Manu Bennett, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Billy Connolly, Aidan Turner, Ken Stott, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Sir Christopher Lee.

On February 28, 2013, it was confirmed there was a new release date for There and Back Again (as it was called at the time). It has been announced via press, and mirrored the release dates of Sir Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The movie's release date was rescheduled from July 19, 2014 to December 17, 2014.[1]

The film became a massive commercial and financial success, having grossed over $955 million worldwide, surpassing The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, becoming the second highest-grossing film of 2014, the fourth highest-grossing entry in the Middle-earth Saga and the 28th highest-grossing film of all time.

Much of the critical praise went to the spectacular visual style, the action sequences, the emotion and the performances of the cast, especially that of Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage, while some thought that the series would've been better if it had just remained a two-part film (as Sir Peter Jackson originally intended before Warner Bros. forced him to make the series a three-part film), as well as criticizing some more "narrative flaws", the 144 minute running time and criticizing the fact that the characters of Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly and Ryan Gage were not in the original novel and had very little purpose in this film and the second film.

However, the titular battle, the film's satisfying closure to the trilogy, the music, especially "The Last Goodbye" end credits song by Billy Boyd, Sir Peter Jackson's direction and how he managed to tie up The Hobbit with The Lord of the Rings was also praised as well.

PlotEdit

Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.
Bilbo and the Dwarves watch from Lonely Mountain with remorse and regret in their faces as the dragon Smaug burns Lake-town to the ground. Bard manages to break out of prison and eventually he manages to kill Smaug with the black arrow given to him by his son, Bain. Smaug's falling body crushes the fleeing Master of Laketown in the process.

Bard, chosen as the new leader, and the Laketown people seek refuge in the ruins of Dale. Tauriel leaves the dwarves and travels to investigate Mount Gundabad with Legolas, but not before Kili gives Tauriel his runestone as a promise that he will come back to her. Upon arriving at Erebor, Fili, Kili, Bofur and Oin are informed by Bilbo that Thorin has been inflicted with Smaug's "dragon sickness" as he searches for the Arkenstone. As Thorin and the dwarves search for the jewel, it is revealed that Bilbo actually stole the Arkenstone from Smaug but knows it should be hidden from Thorin, who orders the entrance of Lonely Mountain be sealed off, and the dwarves rebuild the gate under his command.

At one point, Bilbo is seen by Thorin to be holding something suspisious in his hand which is revealed to be an acorn that he picked up in Beorn's garden and tells Thorin that he will keep it to bring back to the Shire to plant it in his garden, and every time that he looked at it, he would remember everything about his journey with the dwarves, the good, the bad and how lucky he was "to have made it home".

Meanwhile, Galadriel arrives at Dol Guldur and lifts the spell of concealment on the fortress before freeing Gandalf from captivity as Sauron and the spirits of the Nazgul arrive and attempt to corrupt her, saying that she is "one light alone in the darkness that cannot fight the shadow". But Galadriel states that she is "not alone" before Elrond and Saruman arrive and battle the spirits while Radagast arrives and escorts Gandalf away to safety. When Sauron confronts the group, Galadriel uses Eärendil's light to banish Sauron and the Nazgul from the fortress, forcing them to flee to Mordor. Saruman tells Elrond to take the exhausted Galadriel to safety while he deals with Sauron. Gandalf leaves Radagast for Erebor to warn them of the Orc army approaching the Mountain. Azog, marching on Erebor with his vast Orc army, is informed by Bolg about the Mirkwood elves preparing for war and sends him to Mount Gundabad to summon their second army. Legolas and Tauriel witness the march of Bolg's army, bolstered by giant bats bred for war and leave to warn the others.

While Bard and the Laketown survivors take refuge and shelter in the ruins of Dale, Thranduil and his elf army arrive with supplies and aid, and forms an alliance with Bard, wishing to claim a necklace of white gems that belonged to the high king of the elves from the Mountain. Bard attempts to negotiate and reason with Thorin to avoid war, who refuses to cooperate, much to the company's dismay. After Gandalf arrives at Dale trying to convince everyone to put aside their grudges with the dwarves and unite to fight the arriving orc armies, Bilbo sneaks out of Erebor to hand the Arkenstone over to Thranduil and Bard and tells them that they can use it to trade it to Thorin in exchange for a share of the gold that was promised.

The next day, Bard and Thranduil's armies gather at the gates of Erebor, offering to trade the Arkenstone for what Thorin promised them. Enraged, Thorin learns of Bilbo's deception and nearly kills him, before Gandalf intervenes and forces Thorin to release Bilbo. Just as Thorin decides he will have war on the elves and the humans, Thorin's cousin Dáin II Ironfoot arrives with a Dwarf army and prepares to attack the Elves and Men before Azog's army arrives, causing everyone to put aside their grudges to battle this greater enemy. With the Orcs outnumbering the dwarves, Thranduil's and Bard's forces, along with Gandalf and Bilbo, join the battle from outside the mountain to the ruins of Dale. The battle seemed hopeless for the heroes to win, as the forces of Dáin, Bard and Thranduil fall back due to the many casualties of their armies, while Thorin prevents the company from helping.

Inside Erebor, Thorin, refusing to fight and refusing to listen to Dwalin's words, suffers an hallucination in which his love of gold will lead to his death before regaining his sanity and decides that he will not become the madman his grandfather was. He then approaches his company and leads them into battle, quoting the famous words "will you follow me...one last time?"

While the other Dwarves of the company aid Dáin's forces, Thorin rides towards Ravenhill with Dwalin, Fíli, and Kíli to kill Azog and force the Orc army to retreat. Meanwhile, Tauriel arrives with Legolas to warn the dwarves of Bolg's approaching army, with Bilbo following them using the One Ring, but is knocked unconscious by Bolg after warning the dwarves. Azog kills Fíli in front of everyone before entering an epic final showdown with Thorin, who tries to avenge Fíli, while Kíli dies protecting Tauriel from Bolg. After Legolas battles and kills Bolg, the Great Eagles then arrive with Radagast and Beorn, and the Orc armies are quickly destroyed, finally concluding the battle.

Bilbo regains consciousness and finds that Thorin has killed Azog but has been fatally wounded in the process. Thorin makes peace with Bilbo, apoligises to him for his actions and bids him farewell saying "if more people valued a home above gold, this world would be a merrier place", before succumbing to his injuries and dying. Bilbo weeps over the loss of his friend.

On Thranduil's suggestion, Legolas leaves to meet with a young Dunedain ranger going by the name Strider. Tauriel mourns Kili, and Thranduil accepts their love. Bilbo bids farewell to Balin, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Dwalin, Bombur, Bofur, Dori, Ori and Nori and journeys home to the Shire with Gandalf. As the two part, Gandalf admits his knowledge of Bilbo's ring and cautions him against using it. Bilbo returns to Bag End to find his belongings being auctioned off because he was presumed dead, and uses the contract presented to him by Thorin's company before the expedition which still bears his signature to prove his identity. When they ask about who the person Bilbo pledged his service to named "Thorin Oakenshield" is, Bilbo looks back and says before he enters his house "he was my friend".

Sixty years later, on his 111th birthday, Bilbo receives a visit from Gandalf and runs happily to the door to greet him.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

The Hobbit was originally envisioned as a two-part film, but Jackson confirmed plans for a third film on July 30, 2012, turning his adaptation of The Hobbit into a trilogy. According to Jackson, the third film would contain the Battle of the Five Armies and make extensive use of the appendices that Tolkien wrote to expand the story of Middle-Earth (published in the back of The Return of the King). Jackson also stated that while the third film will largely make use of footage originally shot for the first and second films, it would require additional filming as well.

The third film was titled There and Back Again in August 2012. In April 2014, Jackson changed the title of the film to The Battle of the Five Armies as he thought the new title better suited the situation of the film. He stated on his Facebook page, "There and Back Again felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo's arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived 'there' in The Desolation of Smaug." Shaun Gunner, the chairman of The Tolkien Society, supported the decision, saying: "The Battle of the Five Armies much better captures the focus of the film but also more accurately channels the essence of the story."

ScoreEdit

Howard Shore has composed the score, alongwith the other films. Billy Boyd, who played Peregrin Took "Pippin"  in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, wrote and performed the song "The Last Goodbye" to be played over the end credits of the film. His song, Edge of Night, that was performed by him in The Return of the King back in 2003, was also used as nostalgia for the first teaser trailer for the film.

TrailersEdit

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Mrcere (February 28, 2013). Third 'Hobbit' movie release moved from July to December 2014. TheOneRing.net. Retrieved on March 2, 2013.

ReleaseEdit

MarketingEdit

A teaser trailer for the film was released on 28 July 2014 attached to Guardians of the Galaxy, Into the Storm, and If I Stay. The second theatrical trailer was released on 6 November 2014 attached to Interstellar and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.

To promote the film's release, Wellington-based association football club, Wellington Phoenix, wore a special designed jersey to commemorate the opening of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. The custom, film-themed jersey was worn only once, on December 13, 2014. In the film's Japanese release on December 13, Warner Brothers collaborated with mobile gaming company A-Lim to bring Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Legolas into the game Brave Frontier at the end of December as Vortex Dungeon units. The campaign only runs until February 2015.

Smaug made a guest appearance, animated by WETA and voiced again by Cumberbatch, on the satire show The Colbert Report on December 12, 2014 to promote the film.

Theatrical releaseEdit

The world première of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was held in London at Leicester Square on 1 December 2014. The film opened in theatres on 11 December 2014 in New Zealand, on 12 December in the United Kingdom and on 17 December in the United States. Warner Bros. released the film on 18 December 2014 in Greece and 26 December in Australia. The film was released in China on January 23, 2015.

Box officeEdit

WorldwideEdit

As of 22 February 2015, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has earned a gross of $253,949,155 in the North America and $697,600,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $951,549,155. Worldwide, it is the second highest-grossing film of 2014 behind Transformers: Age of Extinction and the 26th highest-grossing film of all time. Its grosses exceeded its estimated $250 million production cost 12 days after its release. The film reached a milestone of $100 million in 4 days, $300 million in 12 days, $400 million in 16 days, $500 million in 18 days, $600 million in 20 days, $700 million in 27 days, $800 million in 38 days and $900 million in 53 days.

The film failed to earn $1 billion at the box office despite various critics and fans projecting it to reach that milestone. The Hollywood Reporter said that the possibility of The Battle of the Five Armies grossing $1 billion worldwide was extremely low due to "plunging exchange rates around the globe," that were witnessed in that year and that Warner Bros. and MGM ultimately will take in nearly $90 million less than they planned on receiving due to rising dollar and plunging foreign currencies.

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

The film received generally positive reviews from critics. It has a rating of 61% "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes with an user rating of 76% with an average rating of 6.3 based on 219 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Though somewhat overwhelmed by it's own spectacle, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ends Peter Jackson's second Middle-earth trilogy on a reasonably satisfying note". Metacritic gave the film positive-to-mixed reviews, with a rating of 59 out of 100.

AccoladesEdit

At the 87th Academy Awards, the film received a nomination for Best Achievement in Sound Editing, as well as receiving a BAFTA nomination for Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects and has been nominated for four Empire Awards: Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Best Film, Best Director (for Jackson) and Best Actor (for Armitage). The film was also nominated for three SFX Awards: Best Film, Best Actor (for Armitage) and Best Director (for Jackson).

At the 41st Saturn Awards, the film received seven nominations, including Best Supporting Actress (for Evangeline Lilly), Best Music (for Shore), Best Writing (for Jackson, Walsh, Boyens and del Toro) and Best Special Effects and won two for Best Fantasy Film and Best Supporting Actor (for Richard Armitage).

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