The War of the Rohirrim: Analysts Predict Potential Flop for New Lord of the Rings Film, Facing Major Challenge

MOVIE NEWS – The new Lord of the Rings film, The War of the Rohirrim, set to debut in 2024, could jeopardize the franchise’s historically successful box office run, presenting a significant challenge at the onset of Warner Bros.’ planned IP expansion. Since the last Lord of the Rings film in 2014, this upcoming installment stirs excitement among the franchise’s dedicated fans but also carries substantial risks. Despite mixed reactions to The Hobbit trilogy, the Lord of the Rings series has consistently achieved impressive box office figures, underscoring the success of Peter Jackson’s fantasy epics across two trilogies. Building on this legacy, Warner Bros. aims to further leverage the Lord of the Rings brand, with The War of the Rohirrim marking the first step in this expansion.


The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, the first new entry in the series since 2014, might disrupt the franchise’s longstanding success, signifying a challenging start for Warner Bros.’ strategic IP expansion. This new chapter, eagerly anticipated by the series’ loyal followers, nonetheless poses a threat to the series’ positive box office trajectory. Despite the lukewarm reception of The Hobbit trilogy, every Lord of the Rings film has boasted remarkable box office success—a feat not many film franchises can claim, testament to the enduring appeal of Peter Jackson’s fantasy sagas.

Warner Bros. hopes to further capitalize on the Lord of the Rings franchise’s success, and the upcoming animated feature, The War of the Rohirrim, represents the initial stride towards this objective. The Lord of the Rings: Rohirrim’s War delves deeper into Middle-earth’s history than The Hobbit, detailing the saga of Rohan’s former king, Helm Hammerhand. Its animated style introduces a fresh element to the series, while its storyline enriches J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythos. While Rohirrim’s War offers several advantages, it also carries a significant risk for the Lord of the Rings franchise.

Each of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies has been a blockbuster success at the global box office, with none earning less than $891 million (according to The Numbers). The Fellowship of the Ring garnered slightly more than this amount upon its 2001 release, and its sequels achieved even greater box office returns. The Two Towers, released in 2002, grossed approximately $919 million globally, and The Return of the King exceeded $1 billion. The sustained popularity of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptations explains their commercial triumphs and the series’ upward trajectory in revenue with each installment.

The Hobbit trilogy faced more criticism from both critics and audiences compared to The Lord of the Rings, yet Jackson’s second venture into Tolkien’s realm still performed exceptionally in theaters. Building on the success of the original trilogy, 2012’s An Unexpected Journey grossed just over $1 billion. Although its sequels experienced diminishing returns, both still surpassed the $900 million mark. Such figures solidify the legacy of The Lord of the Rings franchise, but unfortunately, The War of the Rohirrim might break this box office streak.

While The War of the Rohirrim presents an intriguing concept and a novel medium, it’s unlikely to replicate the success of the earlier Lord of the Rings films. Firstly, achieving a $900 million box office return for an anime-styled movie is a tall order, particularly in a post-pandemic market. The film’s release, scheduled for December 13, 2024—just a week before the debuts of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Thunderbolts—puts it in direct competition, potentially hampering its performance compared to its predecessors.

Furthermore, the Prime Video series The Rings of Power and the later Hobbit movies faced more scrutiny than the original trilogy, possibly leading fans to question their interest in seeing Rohirrim’s War in theaters. Such a project might have been an easier sell following the first three Lord of the Rings films. Time will tell if it can sustain their level of success in 2024.

Source: The Numbers

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