'The Hobbit 3' release date delayed to late 2014

the-hobbit-3-there-and-back-again-release-date.jpgEven though it still makes no sense that "The Hobbit" is a trilogy, fans will have to wait a little longer to see the epic conclusion now that the release of "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" has been delayed to December 17, 2014.

The trilogy-ending "There and Back Again" was previously scheduled for release in the summer -- July 18, 2014 -- but the date change isn't that surprising. All the other films in Peter Jackson's "Hobbit"/"Lord of the Rings" series either have or will open in December.

Next up: "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," opening Dec. 13. It follows last year's first "Hobbit" film, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," which pulled in a decent $300 million at the U.S. box office and close to $1 billion worldwide.

All three chapters in the "Rings" trilogy were bigger U.S. box office draws than "The Hobbit" (which was released in 3D with higher ticket prices), but only the final film -- "The Return of the King" -- was bigger worldwide.
Photo/Video credit: Warner Bros.