I liked it too... though I had a lot of issues and some reservations. I think the biggest problem is that they started with a kid's book, and tried to make it a movie for grown ups... with all the foreshadowing to link it with the existing LotR movies... and it didn't quite work. The material, unlike the other books, is just too lighthearted to carry all that much weight.
I think the reason everything is so quick to release on video now, besides just keeping the revenue coming in, of course, is that everything is already digitally mastered before editing. Making a DVD master is far simpler than in the days of film... you just save the file in a different format, make menus and cover art and round up the foreign language files, add some director commentary and a few behind the scenes featurettes, and done! And most of that is done parallel with the making of the theater release these days anyway.
You used to have to scan each frame of film in high resolution after the main release, and do all the editing and mastering from back-up prints, which often had different edits than the final release. And then do all that other work.
Nowadays, the plans for video releases are finalized before the movie is even shot. A movie like The Hobbit especially so.
Soon we'll see home vid releases simultaneous with the film showings... or maybe even pre-dating them. Not on the giant blockbusters of course... but on films without a huge box-office hope the mechanical licenses and royalties from video sales and cable & Netflix showings are all the money many movies will ever see.
Native XWA.Netter (Nutter?)