It was last summer that we got confirmation that Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. would be turning the original two-film plan for The Hobbit into a trilogy. The first instalment arrived in our theatres in December last year, and the original plan was to follow The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey up with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in December this year, and then The Hobbit: There and Back Again next July.
The final instalment was to be released in the height of the summer, but it looks like it’s going to be a December affair for all three films. Warner Bros. have announced that they’ll instead be releasing The Hobbit: There and Back Again on 17th December, 2014, rather than its original 18th July slot.
Its original release date would have put it in direct competition with Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, with Paramount’s and Brett Ratner’s Hercules following a week after, and Marvel’s and James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy two weeks later.
The new December release date does, however, keep it in competition with some highly anticipated films. On the animated front, we’ll be getting Universal’s and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions (the Despicable Me spin-off). And on the epic sci-fi front, we’ll be getting Disney’s and Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, which already has George Clooney on board for the protagonist, and Hugh Laurie set to play the antagonist.
Naturally, there are going to be millions of people wanting to go see The Hobbit: There and Back Again, especially since it will be closing off the trilogy. And it could well be our last chance to see Jackson take on the world of Middle-earth. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the numbers work out by the end of that weekend.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again is set to go back into production this year, and will now be released on 17th December, 2014. Before then, we have The Desolation of Smaug to look forward to this December, along with the release of An Unexpected Journey on Blu-ray and DVD in the next few months.