Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit will have to wait an extra five months to see how Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the work wraps up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, co-producers MGM/New Line have moved the release date of The Hobbit: There and Back Again, the conclusion of the big-screen trilogy, from July 18, 2014, to Dec. 17, 2014. The second film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is still expected to arrive Dec. 13, 2013.
While no explanation was given for the move, it’s possible the film needed more time to come together. Remember, the original idea was to make this adaptation a two-parter, but that grew into a trilogy last July. The films are also being post-converted into 3D, which can take some time, but an equally plausible explanation is that the studios want to spread some of the big box office numbers around to different parts of the year. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened back in December and surpassed the billion-dollar mark worldwide this past weekend, according to another THR story.