Ever since Peter Jackson announced that ‘The Hobbit’ would become a trilogy, fans have been waiting to hear when the third and final installment would be released. With ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ slated to be released on December 14, 2012 and the second film a year later, would that mean another year after that to see the conclusion of the trilogy?

Apparently not as Warner Bros. released a press statement announcing that the third film, ‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’ would be released on July 18, 2014.

No, the title is not a misprint. Along with the new release date, there was a bit of shuffling with the titles. Now that the third film has taken on the second film’s name, the sequel to ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ has now been retitled “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.’

Smaug, for those who have yet to read the books by J.R.R. Tolkien, is the main antagonist of the novels. In the movies, his scenes were motion captured and voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch (‘Sherlock’, ‘Star Trek 2’).

As to why Warner Bros. decided to not have the third film released during the holiday season like the other two, Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, said:

“We wanted to have a shorter gap between the second and third films of The Hobbit Trilogy. Opening in July affords us not only the perfect summer tent pole, but fans will have less time to wait for the finale of this epic adventure.”

The announcement of the release does set up this film to go up against ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past,’ the sequel to ‘X-Men: First Class.’ Whether this new film for that weekend will cause Fox execs to have second thoughts on the release of their film is yet to be seen and will serve as an interesting box office clash if the dates stay put.

So here is the final schedule for all three films:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’          December 14, 2012
‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’        December 13, 2013
The Hobbit: There and Back Again’     July 18, 2014

How excited are you with the new release date and the new movie title?


Source: Variety