The third film in Peter Jackson‘s Hobbit trilogy has been revealed. It will be called… “The Hobbit: There and Back and Again. Wait…wasn’t that the original title of the second flick? Oh, yeah, it was. With the reveal of a third installment, the titles have been shifted around. The second movie has now been renamed: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Apparently, Smaug is in enough of the book for the damage he causes to be the focus of a whole film.  The whole trilogy will conclude on July 18th, 2014!

So, just so we’re clear, here’s how things will play out:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released December 14 in 2D, 3D, IMAX and 3D 48 frames per second.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released on December 13, 2013 in 2D, 3D, IMAX and 3D 48 frames per second.

And The Hobbit: There And Back Again will be released July 18, 2014 in the same formats

Look, I’m excited for The Hobbit just as much as the next guy, but this whole thing of being split into three films is just not sitting well with me at all. I mean, we’re talking about a 320 page book. A book that was shorter than any single one of the three books in The Lord of the Rings trilogy is taking three films to cover. That’s more movie than book! I really cannot fathom how Peter Jackson is going to stretch this out. But, whatever. “In Jackson We Trust”, right?

Here’s the full Press Release:

Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures jointly announced today that the final film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy adaptation of the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, now titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be released worldwide on July 18, 2014. All three films in the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.

The Studios also announced the title of the second installment in the franchise, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which will be released on December 13, 2013. The first film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, opens this holiday season, on December 14, 2012. Shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second, the trilogy of films will be released in High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D, other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D.

Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, stated, “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 tentpole, but fans will have less time to wait for the finale of this epic adventure.”

Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, added, “‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’ will be an action spectacle and an emotional conclusion for this already much-anticipated trilogy. Opening in the summer will maximize playability for what promises to be an event film for fans the world over.”

From Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson, the trilogy of films is set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

The screenplay for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film in the trilogy, is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the films, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

Under Jackson’s direction, all three movies are being shot in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Additional filming, as with principal photography, is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the two remaining films in the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.

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