So I have not yet found time to see The Hobbit *hides face in shame* but I did thouroughly enjoy the trip down Sheldon memory lane via Tolkien strips... and just have to say in defense of the Silmarillion. I did read it. Once. And enjoyed it.
The trick is you have to approach it with the right mindset. If you expect a charming tale or epic fantasy you'll never make it through. Think of it along the lines of a History Textbook/Encyclopedia/Dictionary of Middle Earth. Then it's pretty interesting.