What's funny, is that I remember for DECADES, fans bemoaned the lack of a good LOTR/Hobbit adaptation, because the special effects weren't good enough. We had the Ralph Bakshi atrocity, then the Rankin-Bass embarrassment. (and for the hipsters, the little-known black-and-white Russian adaptation). Then. . . Nothing. No studio was going to invest their good money into such a farce. Then Peter Jackson came along, with some contacts who had a CGI technique that could maybe make human actors look like Hobbits - then, we finally got LOTR.
And there was great rejoicing among the FANS. But if you really want to look at LOTR with a critical eye, step back and take a look at it, and yeah, it was pretty stretched-out (and at the same time, weirdly had the feeling of being tightly compressed; like months of road-travel and hiking crammed into a 30-minute TV episode compressed.) (I hike. And I don't know how you make a long hike "interesting" to a cinema audience. But that experience, of long day-after-day exposure to nature, that absolute breathless awestruck feeling when you behold the spectacle of pristine wilderness, the deafening silence, the overwhelming feeling of "letting-go" of your personal safety in the face of insects, weather, predators, rough terrain, homesickness, isolation, struggle, confusion, physical exhaustion, was all very deftly conveyed in Tolkein's prose, and totally absent from the movies). But, overall, still better than the Bakshi version of the movie.
Hobbit takes that to the next extreme. I think it's obvious that the Studio wasn't going to fund Hobbit unless they could milk it to the same profitable extent that LOTR was milked. Only, it's like 1/10th the literary material to work with. I think it's also apparent that the creative team had a difficult time making that requirement work. My guess is that everybody was all geared up to accept this new whizbang 48 fps 3d technology, and that they were hoping that this would make these movies so visually engaging that the audience wouldn't care about the pacing and story and plot problems. I think that they almost certainly fell into the groupthink trap, and bought into their own bullshit, and somehow, anybody who had any nagging doubts was just never in a position to say; "fuck, this is awful, we need to back up and fix this shit." because, by that time, it was probably too late, and the only impact of speaking-up would be to end one's career in the industry. I've been on projects like that. I know that feel.