The Hobbit franchise, as many global media products, reaches audiences worldwide. Audience members apparently consume a uniform media product. But do they? The World Hobbit Project offers a new and exciting opportunity to explore differences and similarities, for it provides us with audiences' understandings of the trilogy across languages and nationalities. In this paper we conduct a statistical analysis on differences and similarities in understandings of The Hobbit trilogy between Belgium, the Netherlands, and France – both in what audiences do and do not feel The Hobbit films to be. Analyzing this particular region in Europe provides an extraordinary opportunity, for The World Hobbit project allows us to compare on the language level (the Dutch and French-speaking Belgian regions with respectively the Netherlands and France), as well as on the level of national identities (comparing the three countries amongst each other). In doing so, we are able to further understand what informs geographical and linguistic differences in the consumption of a uniform media product. As such, this paper touches upon cultural hegemony, cross-border flows of fiction, language and cultural proximity.
Participations, Journal of Audience and Reception Studies (online)
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Veenstra, A.F., Kersten, A., Krijnen, T., Biltereyst, D., & Meers, P. (2016). Understanding The Hobbit: the cross-national and cross-linguistic reception of a global media product in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Participations, Journal of Audience and Reception Studies (online), 13(2), 496–518. Retrieved from