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‘The Hobbit’ Trilogy Release Dates Announced

The Hobbit
This film image released by Warner Bros., shows Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in a scene from the fantasy adventure “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” (AP Photo/Warner Bros., James Fisher)
The Hobbit
This film image released by Warner Bros., shows Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in a scene from the fantasy adventure "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (AP Photo/Warner Bros., James Fisher)

Fans of The Hobbit, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings, are slowly getting more information about the highly anticipated film that will take moviegoers on another trip back to Middle Earth.

Just last month, director Peter Jackson announced on his Facebook page that The Hobbit will be a trilogy. (Originally, there was only going to be two films.)

Now, the world is learning the release dates of all three films.

The first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will be released Dec. 14, 2012. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will hit theaters Dec. 13, 2013. Moviegoers will only have to wait seven months for the final installment of the film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, which is slated for July 18, 2014.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be an action spectacle and an emotional conclusion for this already much-anticipated trilogy,” Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, president of international distribution for Warner Bros., said in a statement. “Opening in the summer will maximize playability for what promises to be an event film for fans the world over.”

The trilogy will be released in High Frame Rate 3D, other 3D formats and IMAX, according to a news release from Warner Bros and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.

Warner Bros President of Domestic Distribution, Dan Fellman, said the studio wanted to have a shorter gap between the second and third film. “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,” he said in a statement.

The films are based on the popular book by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The trilogy is set 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, Jackson’s previous blockbuster trilogy. The third and final movie, The Return of the King, won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

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