The third and final film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy will not be getting a summer release as previously planned. Warner Bros. has changed The Hobbit: There and Back Again‘s release date from July 18, 2014 to Dec. 17, 2014, EW has confirmed. Deadline first reported the news.
This means an epic showdown between two geektastic movies has been effectively canceled. The release date change gets The Hobbit: There and Back Again out of the way of X-Men: Days of Future Past and also brings it back to the time when all of Jackson’s other J.R.R. Tolkien adaptations have been released: mid-December, just in time for Christmas.
There and Back Again will follow The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is set for Dec. 13, 2013.