BURBANK – “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” the final film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy adaptation based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic book, will be released on Dec. 17, 2014, instead of its previous scheduled summer slot, Warner Bros. Pictures announced today.

The second film in “The Hobbit” trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” will be released at the end of this year — on Dec. 13.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was released during the 2012 holiday season and went on to become a billion-dollar global blockbuster. The three films in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy also had holiday releases.

“We’re excited to complete the trilogy the same way we started it, as a holiday treat for moviegoers everywhere,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros.’ president of Domestic Distribution.   Warner Bros. has handled worldwide theatrical distribution of all three films in the trilogy, which are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.   The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team also brought to the big screen.

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