Basically, The Hobbit is spending more than twice as much time and money per page than the better-received original trilogy. If those greedy dwarves knew that, they'd lose their shit. Going by these adjusted-for-inflation numbers, the $740 million budget split three ways is $246 million a film, which covers around 143 pages of book. That's around $2 million a page, or enough to fund the original Mad Max twice over. Meanwhile, Lord of the Rings cost a total of $358 million (remember, post-inflation) for all three movies, or "only" around 300 grand per page.
New Line Cinema
And this was despite having to cover craft services for John Rhys-Davies.
So what the hell is our point? Just that had The Lord of the Rings been made under the same crazy math as The Hobbit, they would have made nine fucking movies. But let's not give them any ideas for the inevitable remakes.