The Studios also announced the title of the second installment in the franchise, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which will be released on December 13, 2013. The first film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, opens this holiday season, on December 14, 2012. Shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second, the trilogy of films will be released in High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D, other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D.
Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, stated, "We wanted to have a shorter gap between the second and third films of The Hobbit Trilogy. 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."
Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, added, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be an action spectacle and an emotional conclusion for this already much-anticipated trilogy. Opening in the summer will maximize playability for what promises to be an event film for fans the world over."
From Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson, the trilogy of films is 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.
The screenplay for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film in the trilogy, is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the films, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Marks Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
Under Jackson's direction, all three movies are being shot in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Additional filming, as with principal photography, is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the two remaining films in the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.
The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies comes to theaters December 17th, 2014 and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Martin Freeman, Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom. The film is directed by Peter Jackson.