Sunday, December 03, 2006

Why Peter Jackson should direct "The Hobbit"

Thank to Bill Ives for pointing me to this New York Times article about Peter Jackson leveraging his fans using the Web in his negotiations with New Line Cinema. Because New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson could not agree on Jackson’s share on “Lord of the Ring” revenues, New Line Cinema intends to dump Peter Jackson as director of LOTR prequel “The Hobbit”. Peter Jackson’s letter on his fan web site led to an uproar and letter writing campaign of his fans to New Line Cinema.

The article got me to run a coolhunting query about the strength of Peter Jackson’s position in his negotiations with New Line Cinema as reflected on the Web. The picture below shows what I got.

The first thing we notice is the strong position of as the leading player and king maker among LOTR fans. The second is how strong the association between Peter Jackson and “The Hobbit” is, the combined query having by far the highest betweenness, much higher that the single queries for "Peter Jackson film" and "Hobbit movie" alone. Conclusion is that New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson would be well advised to come to agreement in producing “The Hobbit” together. Their upfront marketing capital in form of Web buzz is just immense – Peter Jackson and “The Hobbit” would be unbeatable at the box office together!!!

The picture also tells us (without having asked) that the other hits of New Line Cinema are “Austin Powers” and of Peter Jackson “King Kong”, but they pale in comparison with LOTR and The Hobbit!

A second picture looking at the contents of the most between Web sites about the hobbit reiterates the point: "hobbit" and "jackson" are the most central and connected terms talked about mostly together!

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