The Hobbit may be 3-D (but should it be?)

The on-again-off-again-apparently-on-again prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy might, according to The New York Times, be shot in 3-D. Why? Because they want your precious (money).

The economics of 3-D are pretty simple: Because theaters can charge more per ticket, a moderate hit becomes a big hit (e.g., Clash of the Titans), while a blockbuster becomes a financial force of nature (Avatar). Of course, it can also backfire: If an audience doesn't care about a flick (The Legend of the Guardians), they'll care even less if they've gotta pay more to see it.

So the decision to shoot The Hobbit in 3-D (or, heaven forbid, convert it after the fact) isn't a creative one, it's a financial one. Much like the decision to make The Hobbit a two-film proposition by inventing the story for a second movie, when J.R.R. Tolkien's novel really has only enough material for one.

Could it be cool? Sure. Peter Jackson knows what he's doing—and has experience with 3-D after co-directing the Tintin films with Steven Spielberg — but The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King worked just fine in two dimensions. And you just know if The Hobbit ends up in 3-D, Warner and MGM will convert LOTR into 3-D as well, and theatrically re-release them all, Star Wars-style.

This may all be a little premature and pessimistic, but I know a cash grab when I see it.

(Via Slashfilm and The New York Times)

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