Final Hobbit film delayed by five months

The third film in Peter Jackson's Tolkien trilogy will now be released in cinemas in December 2014

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The cinema release date of the third Hobbit film has been pushed back by five months.

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The Hobbit: There and Back Again was initially scheduled for release on 18 July 2014 in the UK and the US, but Warner Bros. has revealed the third instalment in Peter Jackson’s trilogy will not hit cinemas until 17 December 2014.

The film will follow on from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which came out in December 2012, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is set for release on 13 December 2013.

The film was originally going to hit cinemas on the same day as X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The Hobbit trilogy, which stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitag, is based on the book of the same name by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien. The first film saw hobbit Bilbo Baggins leave The Shire with a band of dwarves to reclaim their gold back from Smaug the Dragon – who is voiced by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch. 

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The first film in the trilogy was a box office success and earned itself three Oscar nominations for makeup and hairstyling, production design and visual effects.