Fans, Blockbusterisation, and the Transformation of Cinematic Desire: Global Receptions of The Hobbit Film Trilogy

Fans, Blockbusterisation, and the Transformation of Cinematic Desire: Global Receptions of The Hobbit Film Trilogy

Hardcover(1st ed. 2017)

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This book explores the evolution of audience receptions of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy (2012-14) as an exemplar of the contemporary blockbuster event film franchise. Drawing on findings from a unique cross-cultural and longitudinal study, the authors argue that processes and imperatives associated with Hollywood ‘blockbusterisation’ shaped the trilogy’s conditions of production, format, content, and visual aesthetic in ways that left many viewers progressively disenchanted. The chapters address public and private prefigurations of the Hobbit trilogy, modes of reception, new cinematic technologies and the Hobbit hyperreality paradox, gender representations, adaptation and the transformation of cinematic desire, and the role of social and cultural location in shaping audience engagement and response. This book will appeal to audience researchers, Q methodologists, scholars and students in film and media studies, Tolkien scholars, and Hobbit fans and critics alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137596154
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date: 11/25/2017
Edition description: 1st ed. 2017
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Carolyn Michelle is Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, and director of the University’s Audience Research Unit. Her current research explores modes of reception and their relationship to aspects of social location.

Charles H. Davis is Professor in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University, Canada, where he holds the E.S. Rogers Sr. Research Chair in Media Management and Entrepreneurship.He also serves as Associate Dean for Scholarly Research and Creative Activities in Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication & Design.

Ann L. Hardy is Senior Lecturer in the Screen and Media Studies programme at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Her research focuses on New Zealand-based media products as they balance local and international imperatives, particularly those relating to intersections of culture and religion.

Craig Hight is Associate Professor in Creative Industries at the University of Newcastle, Australia. His current research focuses on the relationships between digital media technologies and documentary practice, especially the variety of factors shaping online documentary cultures.

Table of Contents

1. Returning to Middle-earth, in Blockbusterised Form.- 2.Researching Audience Engagements with the Hobbit Trilogy: A Unique Methodological Approach.- 3.Adaptation, Anticipation, and Cinematic Desire: Prefigurative Engagements with a Blockbuster Fantasy Franchise.- 4.Unexpected Controversies Cast a Shadow over Middle-earth.- 5.The Saga Begins: Mapping Audience Reactions to An Unexpected Journey.- 6.The Rise of the Hobbit Critic: From The Desolation of Smaug To The Battle of the Five Armies.- 7.Pioneering Cinematic Technologies and the Hobbit’s Hyperreality Paradox.- 8.On the Transformation of Meaning and Cinematic Desire.- 9.Making Sense of Difference: How Social Location and Identity Shaped Engagements with the Hobbit Trilogy.- 10.Conclusion and Methodological Reflections on a Unique Project.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This book is a truly impressive large-scale longitudinal study of the evolution of audience receptions of the Hobbit film trilogy. Based on rich data collected through a mixed method approach combining qualitative and quantitative methods, the book not only offers stimulating insight into the range of different viewpoints on this three-part ‘blockbusterisation’ of Tolkien’s novel but also new and original methodological and theoretical approaches to audience studies. This is an important study which advances audience research significantly.” (Anne Jerslev, Professor, Department of Media, Cognition & Communication, University of Copenhagen)

“A smart book, adroitly deploying the best traditions of audience, fan and critical media scholarship to explain how the Hobbit film trilogy embodied politically significant shifts in global media culture. The authors blend a flair for cultural history with an enviable methodological skill, producing what will surely become a blueprint for many future projects on media industries and audiences, at every level of scholarship.” (Andy Ruddock, Senior Lecturer, Communications & Media Studies, Monash University; author of Understanding Audiences: Theories and Methods, 2001, Investigating Audiences, 2007, Youth and Media, 2013)

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