Amount of content in The Lord of the Rings vs. The Hobbit

While cleaning up my desktop, I stumbled upon a calculation I did after the Hobbit movies came out. What I wanted to find out was how many words in the book would be used for each minute of the movie. Seeing as The Hobbit is a much shorter book than the LOTR trilogy, it would seem that there would need to be a fair amount of padding to make three feature length movies out of it. So, let’s see:


Runtime in minutes Words in the book Words per minute
The Fellowship of the Ring 178 177227
The Two Towers 179 143436
The Return of the King 201 134462
LOTR total 558 455125 816
An Unexpected Journey 169
The Desolation of Smau 161
The Battle of the Five Armies 161
The Hobbit total 491 95022 194

And there you have it. LOTR has a “content density” that’s over four times higher than The Hobbit.

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