This article contains spoilers for the ending of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Following in the footsteps of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is another movie with an ending that seems to be dividing audiences. The reviews for Catching Fire and Desolation of Smaug have been overall positive, but the cliffhanger endings in both films seems to have left some fans unfulfilled.
In the case of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the movie is based on a specific book in the Hunger Games series, and the film's cliffhanger ending is staying true to the book's ending. But with Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy, the three films are all based on one book.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ends just as the dragon Smaug is about to attack Lake-town. Bilbo voices his distress over what they've gotten themselves into, and the scene cuts to black.
In a press interview covered by Hypable, Jackson explained and defended the cliffhanger ending. Jackson explained, "It was just an opportunity. It was just a chance – it’s very rare that you get to do films back to back whether it’s two or three films and to be able to just end on a cliffhanger."
As far as fans complaining about the cliffhanger ending, Jackson said, "I remember when I was – I must’ve been 17 or 18 years old – I remember The Empire Strikes Back had a big cliffhanger ending and it was like three years before the next one came out."
In comparison, Jackson feels he's actually being pretty generous, because the third part in the trilogy comes out in just a year. The Hobbit: There And Back Again is set to hit theaters in December 2014.