Frank, can I ask you something? It seems like your interest was sparked when you learned that the movie is based on a classic series of books. Is that accurate?
I ask because... it might be that Disney feels the film isn't marketable because they believe it only really appeals to fans of the fiction--which, for the most part, seem to be guys Peter's age. Correct me if I'm wrong, Peter, but your demographic does not constitute the largest section of the market when it comes to moviegoers.
BUT... how can Disney believe for a second that this movie doesn't appeal to the PG-13 crowd?! Fathers, who might be fans, will want to take their kids. It's not really a "family movie," but I can easily see it drawing a good portion of the family-movie crowd. Plus guys my age; it's the IDEAL theater movie for me. (I can't see the vast majority of women moviegoers being all that interested [look at how many women here have expressed interest], but if the kids and the husbands want to see it... the moms would still have fun, I think.)
Didn't LORD OF THE RINGS do well? Are the two films even comparable, as far as fan base from the original literature, and target audience?
I actually know little about this, so... I wouldn't even call the above a hypothesis. Experts, chime in!