Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Hobbit: There and Back Again Moved to December 17, 2014

Deadline reports that Warner Bros has decided to abide by Lord of the Rings tradition and move The Hobbit: There and Back Again to December 17, 2014. The film was slated to be released on July 18, 2014. The move means the film will no longer be competing against X-Men: Days of Future Past (7/18/14), Guardians of the Galaxy (8/1/14), and host of other summer films where the competition is so thick most films really have all of two weeks to recoup their costs where in the Christmas season they get around 4 weeks or more.

With the Christmas move, the new competition is Minions (spin-off from Despicable Me), Annie and Night at the Museum 3 (12/25). Basically its a kind of night and day difference in competition and one. Also probably didn't hurt WB's confidence in that time slot that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is on the cusp of crossing the $1 billion worldwide box office threshold (for some reason studios forget that record breakers Titanic and Avatar were both Christmas releases). I always thought the summer release was rather odd as the Christmas release per movie formula also proved successful with The Lord of the Rings trilogy so why break what works. Of course adding five more months to the wait is a touch painful.

Press release:

Burbank CA, February 28, 2013 — “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” the final film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy adaptation of the timeless classic The Hobbit, will now be released on December 17, 2014. The joint announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The film moves from its previous summer slot, and now follows the holiday release pattern of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which went on to become a billion-dollar global blockbuster, as well as the three films in the blockbuster “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy. The second film in “The Hobbit” Trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” is next to be released, on December 13, 2013. All three films in the Trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).

Stated Fellman, “We’re excited to complete the Trilogy the same way we started it, as a holiday treat for moviegoers everywhere.”

Added Kwan Vandenberg, “Our holiday release of the first film set a successful precedent for this wonderful Trilogy, and we’re delighted to bring it to a conclusion in the same release window.”

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” the final film in an epic Trilogy adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. 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 brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar ®-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

Jackson directed “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” from a screenplay by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

All three films in “The Hobbit” Trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.

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