‘Hobbit’ Blu-ray release March 19 won’t have extended edition

Feb. 05, 2013 | 9:10 p.m.

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" -- the first film in Peter Jackson's trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien's book "The Hobbit" -- opened in theaters Dec. 14. Here's a look at the film's images. (Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, left, and Graham McTavish as Dwalin in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Graham McTavish as Dwalin, left, Ken Stott as Balin and Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Director Peter Jackson, left, and Martin Freeman on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf the Grey in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman, left, and Peter Jackson on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Ian McKellen, left, and Peter Jackson on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Hugo Weaving as Elrond, left, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Hugo Weaving, left, Peter Jackson and Ian McKellen on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Galadriel actress Cate Blanchett, left, and director Peter Jackson on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Actors and director Peter Jackson on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Dean O'Gorman as Fili, left, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Dean O'Gorman, left, and Richard Armitage in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, left, and Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Cate Blanchett as Galadriel in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Christopher Lee as Saruman and Hugo Weaving as Elrond in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Elijah Wood as Frodo, left, and Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Ian McKellen and Hugo Weaving in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Ian McKellen and Hugo Weaving in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Christopher Lee as Saruman the White in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Gollum, reprised by Andy Serkis in motion capture performance, in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Director Peter Jackson on the Bag End set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Ken Stott as Balin, left, John Callen as Oin, William Kircher as Bifur, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and Graham McTavish as Dwalin in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

John Callen, Dean O'Gorman, Aidan Turner and Stephen Hunter in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Stephen Hunter, Adam Brown, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy and Peter Hambleton in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Gollum, performed by Andy Serkis, in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Gollum, performed by Andy Serkis, in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Trolls William, Tom and Bert, performed by Peter Hambleton, Mark Hadlow and William Kircher, respectively, in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Stephen Hunter as Bombur the dwarf, left, and Tom the troll in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Dwarfs and stone giants in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

The Great Goblin, performed by Barry Humphries, in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Middle-earth fans who buy “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” when it is released on Blu-ray and DVD March 19 will be privy to a sneak preview of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — the second movie in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien. But those hoping for an extended edition of the first film will have to wait until the holidays.

“An Unexpected Journey” will go on sale March 19 in three different combinations — a Blu-ray combo pack ($35.99), a Blu-ray 3-D combo pack ($44.95) and a DVD two-disc special edition ($28.98) — but all of them will feature the 169-minute theatrical version of the film, Warner Bros. announced Tuesday, adding that an extended edition will be available in time for the holidays.

So why would any self-respecting “Lord of the Rings” fan buy now instead of waiting for the scenes that didn’t make the theatrical cut? Warner Bros. is hoping to sweeten the deal by giving buyers an exclusive first look at “The Desolation of Smaug.” The event, hosted by Jackson, will be streamed live on March 24 at noon Pacific Time, and only holders of an UltraViolet code (found in the Blu-ray and DVD packs or issued by select digital retailers upon purchase) will have access.

The DVD and Blu-ray packs will also include Jackson’s behind-the-scenes production videos, from starting production and scouting locations to the film’s premiere in Wellington, New Zealand, last November.

The Blu-ray combo pack and two-disc special edition DVD releases of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (Warmer Bros.)

The Blu-ray combo pack and two-disc special edition DVD releases of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” (Warmer Bros.)

The film received mixed reviews, partly due to Jackson’s controversial decision to show the movie in 48 frames per second — a high frame rate that packs in super-sharp details — at some theaters. Many viewers found the high frame rate jarring, but despite the critiques, the movie broke box office records its opening weekend, raking in nearly $85 million. And the film has earned $949 million worldwide.

The story is set some 60 years before the events of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and many of the actors from Jackson’s Oscar-winning adaptation of those books reprised their roles in “The Hobbit.” Ian McKellen donned Gandalf’s robes, Cate Blanchett wore Galadriel’s crown and Andy Serkis worked in a skin-tight motion-capture suit once more, using the technology he helped put on the map a decade ago with his performance as Gollum.

New to the franchise are Martin Freeman, who plays the film’s hero Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage, who plays dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, and a dozen more actors who round out the company of dwarfs seeking to reclaim their homeland from a dragon. The dragon Smaug will be voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch in the upcoming films.

Here’s a look back at our coverage of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

GALLERIES:

PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘The Hobbit’

PHOTOS: Meet the dwarfs from ‘The Hobbit’

VIDEOS:

‘Hobbit’ FX wiz Joe Letteri on Gollum, the Goblin King and Azog

EXCLUSIVE CLIP: Gandalf warns Saruman of a powerful evil

Peter Jackson, the Hero Complex interview

Peter Jackson talks Smaug cameo, creature design

‘Hobbit’ offers more ‘sophisticated’ Gollum, Peter Jackson says

Peter Jackson’s ‘absolute belief’ in 48-frame format

Happy birthday, Peter Jackson, and happy flying

Live New Zealand world premiere’s red-carpet event

INTERVIEWS & STORIES:

Martin Freeman on Bilbo’s courage, moral code

Ian McKellen,Tolkien guardian, acting wizard

Philippa Boyens: Del Toro’s ‘Hobbit’ would have been ‘amazing’

Andy Serkis admits it was difficult to return to Gollum

William Kircher speaks Dwarvish, talks Bifur’s injury

Richard Armitage finds Thorin Oakenshield in ‘Macbeth’

Stephen Hunter on Bombur’s blubber, dwarf boot camp

Reactions mixed to the 48-frame film transformation

Dan Hennah brings eastern influence to production design

Peter King on yak wigs and the language of Middle-earth

Sylvester McCoy’s twin loves: Radagast, ‘Doctor Who’

Costume designer Ann Maskrey’s favorite look? Radagast

Fili actor Dean O’Gorman on taking risks, sexy dwarfs

Tami Lane on dwarf wrangling, silicone magic

Peter Jackson will craft Shire sound in Dolby Atmos

New Zealand releases Tolkien-themed currency, stamps

Comic-Con: Peter Jackson tours the Shire and beyond

‘The Hobbit’: An unexpected journey on- and off-screen

– Noelene Clark
Twitter.com/@NoeleneClark

RECENT AND RELATED

‘The Hobbit’ collected: Complete coverage

‘Hobbit’ FX wiz on creating the Goblin King

‘Hobbit’: William Kircher speaks Dwarvish

Armitage finds Thorin Oakenshield in ‘Macbeth’

VIDEO: Gandalf warns Saruman, Galadriel

Hair designer Peter King on dwarfs’ yak wigs

Dan Hennah brings eastern influence to ‘Hobbit’

Sylvester McCoy’s loves: Radagast, ‘Doctor Who’

Costume designer’s favorite look? Radagast

Fili actor Dean O’Gorman talks sexy dwarfs

Stephen Hunter on Bombur’s blubber

Comments


12 Responses to ‘Hobbit’ Blu-ray release March 19 won’t have extended edition

  1. Jay says:

    I love these movies, but 3 movies was a big money grab in the first place and this is just another one to wring more money out of fans. Of course there will be a 3 box uber super special version when they are all done as well.

  2. Prosthetic Lips says:

    My real question, not addressed here, is: will we be able to see the 48-frames version at home, or will that only work in the theaters?

  3. Danny says:

    @Prosthetic Lips – We'll be able to view 48FPS – almost all LED/LCD tvs can project up to 60 FPS, so it's mostly up to the blu-ray player.

    • David says:

      The problem here is that the amount of information needed on the disk is impossible to fit on current blu ray disks. And if we managed to make a new disk of the appropriate size we would have to make new blu ray players with lasers capable of reaching into deeper layers of the disk. And considering no other films or tv are being shot in 48 fps at the moment, there is currently no demand for the technology to view it at home. It may be years before we are able to see it in 48 fps on our home screens. It sucks.

  4. Brian says:

    Personally, while I like the extended LOTR editions, I have no issue with the theatrical versions. I will definitely be picking this one up. A nearly 3 hour movie that covers only a portion of the book is plenty for me! I'll certainly check out the extended version when it's out, but the theatrical version is terrific.

    • Melissa says:

      I actually agree with you. I love the extended editions of LOTR but I'm perfectly content with just the theatrical version of The Hobbit. It's a fantastic movie. Although, I would still like to see the extended scenes but not sure if I would buy it or not.

  5. groovyspaceman says:

    I’ve pre-ordered the Hobbit on 3D blu-ray. As there’s currently no consensus as to whether the extended version will be restricted to 2D.

    I hold the distributors responsible (and to a lesser degree Peter Jackson) for milking these films for all they’re worth but, in truth, the blame lies squarely on the consumer who is daft enough to keep paying repeatedly for the same product.

    Technology marches and it won’t be long before we are swapping our outdated blu-rays for 4K or even 8K lossless super-disks.

    When will it ever end????

  6. Guest1 says:

    SOOOO!! If there gonna release a extended version whats the point of buyin this one. I want the extended version as well but I'm not gonna buy 2 copies of the same damn movie!!

  7. Dennis says:

    The big problem is knowing if the extended edition will include the theatrical version. On DVD the extended version of LOTR included both versions, but on Blu-ray they were only available separately. I want them both, but would not buy the present release is the extended edition includes both.

    • LeoCeballos says:

      Not true, at least not the original releases in the US. The extended editions were 4 disc sets: the movie on two discs, and two discs of extras. The theatrical editions were nowhere to be found.

  8. Lordamatum says:

    So let's wait for:
    An Unexpected Journey – The Extended Edition
    An Unexpected Journey – The Special Edition
    An Unexpected Journey – The Director's Cut
    An Unexpected Journey – The Director's Exclusive Edition
    An Unexpected Journey – The Platinum Edition
    An Unexpected Journey – The Definitive Collection Edition
    An Unexpected Journey – The Edition you must have after you've shelled out money on all the others!

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