I blame Harry Potter. They got away with splitting #7 (which I actually thought worked) so now everyone is cashing in on what they did.
FWIW, the decision to split The Deathly Hallows
was announced three months after
the announcement that The Hobbit
would be two films:
- Hobbit announcement link (2007-12-18)
- Potter announcement link (2008-03-13)
As for the decision itself, I completely understand why people would be concerned, but the outright condemnation of the idea seems premature to me. I do think the issue of where the films split will be important, as will the overall pacing. But until I see how the first film handles these issues, I'll give Jackson the benefit of the doubt.