We watched Peter Jackson's The Hobbit when my daughter was last on vacation in Finland with us (she lives with her mother out of Finland most of the time), and my son was so excited about the film, he wanted to watch Jackson's The Lord of the Rings as well. And so we did, just the two of us. (My daughter had already left Finland at that time.)
Boy, was he excited! I'm very happy my son has an eye for grand adventure and thrilling moments of battle. Afterwards he wanted to know everything about elves, old kings, the lineage of everyone mentioned in the film. I told quite many details of the film beforehand so as not to make them too suspenseful. And then he said he wants to hear The Hobbit as a bedtime story, so we started it. Then he said that when the book is done, he wants to move over to The Lord of the Rings. So be it, we said. (And just yesterday when we stopped by a thrift store, I picked up a battered copy of the novel for him to take away when he moves out. If the book holds up to that day.)
I read the European graphic novel version of Tolkien's novel (or rather, Ralph Bakshi's animated film) already when I was 10 or so. My daughter saw Jackson's films when she was 11 or 12 - afterwards she read the book in two or three days. Now my son is on a Tolkien binge when he's soon 9.
I'm just pondering here whether we should watch Bakshi's animated film and its appalling sequels and read the afore-mentioned graphic novel... I'm also thinking whether I should revisit Silmarillion myself - it's been almost 30 years since I last read it!