Counting down to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug


Finally the wait is almost over! The movie opens here next Friday but I don’t have to wait much longer as I’ll be seeing it tomorrow night! 😀

I quite enjoyed the first movie [read my top 10 list why I think it was a worthwhile journey] and I’m one of the few people who actually don’t mind seeing The Hobbit extended in three films as I just love the Middle Earth universe, especially filled with my favorite actors! Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, oh my!

Some of the ensemble cast at the L.A. premiere earlier this week

Well, just for fun, here are some interesting trivia and fun marketing campaign:


1 Hobbit – Bilbo Baggins

1 Dragon – Smaug


1 Crew member whose sole job on set was to look after prosthetic hands

1 Elvenking – Thranduil


2.5 Number of years the textures department at Weta Digital worked on Smaug’s skin

2 Wizards – Gandalf and Radagast

3 Number of children belonging to Bard

3 Films in the Trilogy

4 Inches that 15-year-old actor John Bell (Bain) grew over the length of production

4 Tons of silicon used to generate the facial prosthetics

5 Hours to complete hair, make-up, prosthetics and wardrobe for each of the 13 Dwarves

5 Average number of doubles used for each main character, including scale, stunt and riding doubles

6 Number of weeks it took to build Beorn’s house


7 km Length of toupe tape used to attach beards to faces

8 Legs on the giant Spiders infesting Mirkwood Forest

9 Weeks of location filming on the Trilogy

10kg Human hair for wigmaking

104 Average days it took to renew a studio with a new set

13 Dwarves – Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, Bofur, Bombur, Bifur, Oin, Gloin, Dori, Nori and Ori

13 Empty wine barrels in which the Dwarves escape Thranduil’s Realm


14 Tons of silicone used to mold all of the armor and weapons for all cultures

26 Average days shooting on a single set

32 Polystyrene trees, used in various configurations, to make the Mirkwood set

40 Buildings on casters that make up the Lake-town set


48fps Higher frame rate used for the Trilogy

60 2nd unit studio crew

65 Number of people it took—including actors, doubles and stunt men—to portray 13 Dwarves

80 The age of the oldest vintage microphone used to record the score for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

88 Microphones used in the film’s scoring session

91 Wigs created for the Dwarves

94 Set models created for the Trilogy

95 Number of musicians in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra recording the film’s score

99 Number of studio sets built for the Trilogy

100+ Hobbit feet for Bilbo

Even Smaug couldn’t resist Bilbo’s feet! [Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman on set]

Check out this hilarious Yahoo! video Guess the Feet, too bad I can’t embed it directly to this post, but trust me, it’s a hoot!

100 Total 2nd unit location crew

100 Total costume department crew

115 Number of drivers needed to transport the cast and crew to New Zealand locations

250+ Approximate population of the Trilogy’s art department

263 Beards made for the production

300 Bottles of spirit gum used in the production

350 Off-set crew

400 Costumes created for Lake-town

450 Main unit studio crew


547 Traveling weapons for the 13 Dwarves

800 Crew traveling on location between two units

860 Bottles of isopropyl alcohol used to remove prosthetics

752 Wigs. Nearly everyone in the film is wigged


1200 ‘Extras’ that needed to be cast for the Trilogy

2000 Hand-spun goblets created for Smaug’s Lair

3000 Props recorded in the furniture catalogue for Lake-town

5000+ Approximate population of Lake-town

8900 Approximate number of continuous hours the art department worked to build, decorate, and tear down sets. This involved different crews working 24/7

11,862 Prosthetics made for the Trilogy


140,000+ Cups of coffee made by craft services throughout production

170,000 Punched aluminum gold plated coins trickled over Smaug’s Lair

Air New Zealand

This was released in mid November along with a contest to win a 5 night trip for two to Middle-earth itself! Oh man, that would’ve been sweet! That’s one of the dream places I’d love to visit, hopefully someday I could make it there as well as visit my dear aunt in Sydney, Australia!

Here in Middle-earth, everyday tasks can reveal out of this world surprises and before you know it everything can turn a bit Hobbit-shaped.

And one of my favorites about Peter Jackson‘s films are the plethora of video blogs and behind-the-scenes footage he readily share to his fans. Here’s the latest Production Diary which focuses on filming with Smaug the Dragon. Now I could watch an entire video just on Benedict Cumberbatch on set:

And here’s a 13-minute video of filming, I wish there are more specifically on the Barrel escape scene!

Well, the reviews I’ve been reading so far has been positive, so I’m even more excited about it than ever. I LOVE the world of Middle Earth so I really can’t wait to go back and be immersed in that universe once again!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Thoughts on The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug?

78 thoughts on “Counting down to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

  1. LOL, Ruth. You are the best at fostering anticipation! I was looking forward to this mildly the other day, but now I feel compelled to see it. They should hire you for PR. Very interesting details regarding the film, too!

    1. He..he.. well I feel that the studios should pay me for promoting a lot of their movies 😀 I got the details from a press release, it’s too fun not to share, glad you enjoyed ’em Cindy!

  2. I’ve only seen bits of the first Hobbit film though I’m not sure if I plan on seeing it though I heard the new one is better than the first. I think I’ll watch both films when the third one comes out as I want to revisit the entire LOTR trilogy.

    1. I wish I had your patience to wait until all three are released! I’ve been wanting to revisit the LOTR trilogy myself as I have all the extended-cut Blu-rays 😀

  3. Ted S.

    My hope is that it will get better in the second half of the story like it was in the novel. It took me awhile to get into the story for the book but I thought everything was great once they escaped the goblins cave. I enjoyed the first movie but it’s way too long, but I hope the last two films will be great. I don’t know about adding a love story between Langolas and Tauriel though, both of them weren’t even in the novel. But I trust Jackson can make it work somehow.

    1. Hi Ted, from some of the reviews I’ve read, seems that this one is a huge improvement. I think because it’s more action-oriented and the pace naturally is faster. I can’t wait for that barrel scene!!

      Yeah, I hope the love story isn’t cheesy as I’m not fond of Legolas.

      1. Ted S.

        The scene I most looking forward to is when the giant spiders attack, it was very exiting read in the book. I assume the movie will be even better.

        Yeah I don’t care for Legolas either. Seems like they just want to add a female character into the movie since the book has none. Hopefully the love story isn’t too cheesy.

  4. Looking forward to this one Ruth. While the first film didn’t really work as well as the three LotR flicks I still really liked it. I can’t wait to see where this one goes. Any time I can go back to Jackson’s Middle Earth I’m happy.

  5. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Am I the only one who firmly believes that this film will have one of the longest running closing credits for their work in cinematic history. No matter how large or how small, during this offering?

    1. Ahahaha! No you’re not the only one! I never stayed for the closing credits for LOTR or The Hobbit but you’re so right it’s gotta be the longest of the bunch! Well it takes a whole army to make something like this, namely the Peter Jackson army! 😀

  6. I’m a bit pissed off at the moment, Ruth. This film doesn’t open here until Boxing Day.

    Which means, I have to avoid spoilers and reviews of it until after that, when I get to see it.

    But can I just say: man, I am so pumped for this film. My EE of AUJ is coming my way as a Christmas present, which should provide some anticipatory lubrication for Smaug’s magnificent reveal in Desolation!!! PUMPED!!!

    1. When is Boxing Day? Is that in January? That’s a bummer Rodney! Well my reviews are always spoiler-free man 🙂

      Glad you’re as pumped as I am for this though. Magnificent reveal is right, esp w/ Benedict’s voice! 😀

  7. I will start playing tomorrow night over here and I’ll probably will watch it soon. Although a lot of people weren’t fans I’m planning to see the 3D HFR version.

                    1. Well what else can I entice you to come here?? It’s like -20 windchill outside, ahah. But hey, there is also the big Mall of America if you like shopping 😀

                    2. Oh it’s really not that far, only about 10 hours or so 😀 I mean, it usually takes about 24 hrs on a trip from here to my hometown Jakarta Indonesia, longest in flight was about 18 hrs straight!! If you like the cold AND malls then MN is the way to go, man!

  8. I enjoyed The Hobbit but it had its flaws and wasn’t as good as any of the LOTR films, so I’m looking forward to seeing this in the hope that it’ll go that little bit better. I just hope it doesn’t feel too long.

    1. Yeah well it’s not as good as LOTR I agree, but as a fan of that Middle Earth universe I still had fun with it. I do hope that the pace is faster than the first one and it seems that based on early reviews it’s far more exciting 🙂

  9. Totally awesome post, Ruth!!!
    I love all those little details, where did you find them?

    I am not sure when the movie will be played here…hopefully before holiday because I am planning a trip

    1. Hi there Mark, always thrilled when you stop by 😀

      Yay, I’m glad you’re with me. I enjoyed the first one too and this one is an improvement though overall I think they’re just as enjoyable. I do think the presence of Smaug gives this an edge, the encounter between him and Bilbo is easily the highlight of the film.

      1. Hey Ruth, yeah I’m really busy just now so blogging is only getting shoehorned in but still trying to keep my finger on the pulse.

        Glad to hear that this works. Can’t wait to see Smaug. I was a fan of the first but I’m hoping this one irons out the slightly lethargic pace. That was really my only issue first time around.

        1. Bummer! Busy w/ work or the cabin? Or both?

          The pace is a bit faster in this one, though there are moments I wish it’d pick up more. I think not having read the book, I wasn’t sure about the relations between certain characters so the scenes didn’t mean much to me. I wish there are even more scenes of Smaug to be honest, he really lives up to the title!

          1. Just busy getting ready for Xmas. I’m not actually working just now but that doesn’t do my blogging any good. I do a lot of writing when I’m at work LOL.

            Yeah, I read the book and remember it quite well. I hope that doesn’t go against my experience with this but it didn’t so much the first time either, so here’s hoping.

            1. Ahah, sometimes the daily busy-ness actually kept you from writing, I agree. I’m not as swamped at work these days either so I can do some of my writing then, too.

              Let’s compare notes after you see it. Does it open this weekend for you in Glasgow?

                  1. Much appreciated Ruth. By the way, as I normally blog by phone, I don’t always get to see my site or others on a proper screen. However, I was on my laptop last night and noticed that some words in my (and others) reviews are highlighted in blue and are a link to some advertising deal. Is this a new thing that wordpress have introduced? I don’t remember seeing that before and, frankly, I’m not that keen on it. Have you noticed it on yours?

                    1. Hi Mark, yeah that’s not just a WordPress thing, I noticed that even on emails too, believe it or not. It’s terrible I know but not sure you can do anything about it though.

                    2. Aww man! I really don’t like that at all. I wasn’t happy with the advert on my site as it is, never mind even more. That’s actually scandalous. It detracts from people’s writing 😦

                    3. I totally agree it’s VERY distracting! Scandalous is right, seems that marketers are going overboard and more intrusive these days. As for the adverts on your site, I think you have the option to turn that off? The Word Ads I mean.

                    4. You can check it under the Earnings tab, it’s at the top next to Settings. You can see how much you’ve earned so far. It’s such a tiny amount though, as it’s calculated by how many people actually click on the ads.

                    5. Oh really? Oh geez, that is a bummer! So did you check your earnings?? I mean you should at least be compensated for having to endure them.

  10. I can’t wait to see Lee as the King and wet Richard in the barrel 🙂 Oh man that picture from the premiere – why did Lily get bangs? She looks awful with those.

    1. Hi Sati, I saw it last Monday and those two beautiful boys didn’t disappoint! There are lots of gorgeous shots of Richard, wet and otherwise, esp. in the opening sequence, yowza!

      Yeah, I don’t know what’s w/ the bangs on her, not a good look though she is gorgeous. Not to mention LUCKY being amongst all those cute boys!!

  11. Pingback: » Movie Review – Hobbit, The: The Desolation of Smaug Fernby Films

  12. Pingback: 10 Favorite Things about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – FlixChatter Film Blog

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