'The Hobbit' trilogy has cost twice as much to produce than the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, which is astonishing if one considers all the elaborate armor, special effects, and prosthetics that went into the first trilogy!
By the end of March 2013, the price tag on 'The Hobbit' had already reached the $561 million mark, and that did not yet include the two months of filming which still continued after that date, or the pick-ups that were still to follow!
Some of the extra expenses could be blamed on inflation, but it is more likely that the decision to shoot all three films at 48 frames per seconds using 3D cameras was the major reason for the extreme cost of production.
Being made into a trilogy rather than a standalone film undoubtedly added to the costs. Tolkien fans were surprised to learn that the film would be stretched over three movies, considering the book is a rather slim volume and the adventures of Bilbo Baggins are not quite as epic as Frodo having to face great adversity in his journey through Middle Earrth to throw the One Ring into Mount Doom.
The film 'Return of the King' was the most successful Tolkien movie so far and grossed more than 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,' making back more than ten times its budget. Whether the film about Bilbo Baggins and his adventures will ever come close to the box office success of 'Lord of the Rings' remains to be seen.