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'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' Trailer: Trilogy Costs Over $561 Million, Peter Jackson Defends Multifilm Decision VIDEO

'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' Trailer: Trilogy Costs Over $561 Million, Peter Jackson Defends Multifilm Decision VIDEO

By Vanessa Frith, EnStars on Oct 04, 2013 06:09 PM EDT
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The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (Photo : Warner Bros./The Hobbit website)

A new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug recently drew the praise of fans, but the total cost of production for the Peter Jackson trilogy will also make your jaw drop.

The three films comprise a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and, as a whole, cost $561 million to date, according to the Associated Press. The figure was gleaned from financial documents filled in New Zealand, the country that has provided the awe-inspiring scenery for The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.

Although this number alone makes the films more costly than the original Lord of the Rings trilogy ($281 million) and the Star Wars prequel trilogy ($343 million), according to Box Office Mojo, the price can still go up and does not include some recent shoots, according the the Associated Press.

However, Peter Jackson has defended the decision to make the single book by J.R.R. Tolkien into a multipart film.

"The book is written in a very brisk pace, so pretty major events in the story are covered in only two or three pages," Jackson said in December, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "So once you start to develop the scenes and plus you wanted to do a little bit more character development, plus the fact that we could also adapt the appendices of Return of the King, which is 100-odd pages of material that sort of takes place around the time of The Hobbit, so we wanted to expand the story of The Hobbit a little bit more, as did Tolkien himself."

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey debuted last December and raked in $303 billion. The Desolation of Smaug will hit theaters Dec. 13 while the last installment, There and Back Again, will be released in December 2014.

Check out the new trailer for The Desolation of Smaug below.

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