You should probably never entrust your tax return to a movie critic. Sure, they're pretty good at telling you whether a movie is good or not, but when it comes to economics they can be a little off the mark.
I think it's fair to say The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey wasn't universally well received when it was first previewed to the press. It was called overlong and boring, while its 48fps format was extremely unpopular. With reviews like that, you might expect The Hobbit to flop, or at the very least linger behind The Lord of The Rings trilogy in terms of income. But guess again, as of last weekend, The Hobbit's first installment has moved into second place as the highest grossing Tolkien movie ever.
According to Wired, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has racked in $939,862,965 internationally, compared to The Fellowship of the Rings $869,349,688 and The Two Towers $923,285,627. The only movie to beat The Hobbit is LOTR's final installment, Return of the King, which plundered movie audiences to the sum of $1,119,110,941.
With Middle-Earth still reining supreme, I'm sure we can expect The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to equally smash the box office when it arrives in December 2014.