When Peter Jackson enters Middle Earth, the result averages out to about a billion dollars in global box-office revenue per film.
A decade ago "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy closed out with a $3 billion worldwide box-office haul for the series. That's a hell of a good return on investment considering the entire trilogy cost a quite economical $281 million to produce.
Last year's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" took in a billion dollars in box-office on its own, suggesting the next two films are set to likely equal or even surpass the overall hall of the 'Rings' trilogy.
That success comes at a price. Variety reports that the budget for "The Hobbit" trilogy has come in and the cost at present is $561 million - around double that of the original trilogy.
Considering the size and scope of each film, that's $187 million or so per film of this trilogy - not bad considering how many major tentpoles push well into the $200 million range these days.
The budgetary figure, however, is expected to rise as that number doesn't include the additional two months of pick-up shooting that took place only a few months ago. Additional post-production costs will likely push the total higher.
That makes it the most expensive 'total production' to date, beating out the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy ($343 million) and dual-film shoot of the second and third "Pirates of the Carribean" movies ($450-525 million).
Big parts of the expense include the 266 days of principal photography, and the cost of equipment upgrades and maintenance to shoot the trilogy in both 3D and at 48FPS.