Before anybody points it out - all of the post below is anecdote - usual caveats apply.
A friend of mine is a teacher - he generally works with the 10-11 age-range (which in the UK at least, is unusual for a male teacher). This is, as is documented in any number of official and unofficial studies, a particularly critical year in the education of boys; it's when many of them start to fall behind the girls in their year group in academic terms (not catching up until the 18-21 age range). The individuals who start falling behind at this point generally never catch up.
Now, just a few weeks ago, and spurred by the impending release of this movie, I had a long conversation with said friend about childhood literacy, academic achievement and the Hobbit.
See, his view is that the big problem with the UK education system and boys is that they lose all interest in reading for pleasure right around that 10-11 age range. This is, in part, because the generally approved reading materials in schools have a heavy female tilt (lots of teddy bears and thinking about feelings, not so much on the swords, dragons and robots), but there's not actually a mandatory reading list at this age and teachers (if they're willing to stand up to the senior management in their school if needed) have quite a lot of leeway.
And his big antidote to "losing" boys at this age has, for close to a decade now, been "The Hobbit". Indeed, he's of the view that it's one of the finest children's books ever written; short enough not to be off-putting, gripping pretty much from the first page and written with an authorial voice that strikes a good balance between not being condescending and not being too advanced for the age-range in question. It is also a damned exciting story, with wizards, dragons, goblins and magic rings. The girls don't hate it and the boys absolutely lap it up.
So from his point of view, the movies have been a bit of a disaster. He'd been hoping for something he could take classes along to. Instead, the movies, are dark, brooding, serious, dark and extremely violent in places. They're absolutely not suitable for the age range the book is pitched at and, in any case, they miss the fundamental quality of what makes the book so great.
It's not a disaster for him - the book is still there and always will be there. But his view was that it was a missed opportunity to give the "best children's book ever written" a proper adaptation.
I've not read The Hobbit for many years myself, but this does chime with my own memory of it.