On The Call: Time Warner on 'The Hobbit'

The Associated Press

During a conference call with analysts, Time Warner Inc. was asked about financing for the first of "The Hobbit" movies, which will debut next month.

Chief Financial Officer John K. Martin responded by explaining that much of the money has already been spent, with the company recouping costs from partners over time. The movie is also expected to generate revenue well beyond the Dec. 14 release. Home video and other releases typically come a few months after a movie comes out in theaters.

The events in "The Hobbit" precede those of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Although it is based on a single book, Time Warner is stretching "The Hobbit" into three movies.

Here's Martin's remarks:

"A lot of the benefits ... will come in over time, so a lot of the benefits from the first 'Hobbit' release will actually be realized in 2013 and then beyond. To put it in perspective, each of 'The Lord of the Rings' movies did at least $1 billion at (the) box office. We anticipate that this is going to be a blockbuster release and we're very optimistic for it."