Bad news, J.R.R. Tolkien fans—it looks like we’ll have to wait a few extra months for the final installment in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. Why? Blame X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. has decided to bump The Hobbit: There and Back Again from its original release date of July 18, 2014, to Dec. 17, 2014. Yep, that’s right, a full five-month delay.
The move comes after Fox recently decided to schedule Bryan Singer’s eagerly anticipated X-Men sequel Days of Future Past on the same July date, which would've made for one of the coolest weekends in the history of modern sci-fi/fantasy cinema.
Of course, studios hate to have two similarly geared flicks go head to head, because they could cannibalize each other at the box office, so Warner Bros. was just the first to blink.
Truth be told, a December release date makes the most sense for The Hobbit anyway, as the first film opened last December and the second installment The Desolation of Smaug is scheduled to hit the box office this December. This move gives the studio a consistent release schedule, plus an extra five months of production time to make sure the series (which grew from two to three films along the way) will have a little extra time in the editing bay.
So since one film essentially had to move, are you glad it was The Hobbit, or would you have preferred X-Men slide down the schedule?