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'The Hobbit' sequels get titles and release dates

Ever since it was announced that Peter Jackson's The Hobbit movies were going to be three films instead of two, we've been waiting for their titles and release dates. Now, Warner Bros. and MGM have finally announced the names and release dates for the second and third installments of The Hobbit.

The first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, opens this December on the 14th. The second film is called The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and will be released a year later on December 13, 2013 in 2D, 3D, IMAX and in the formats of 24 and 48 frames-per-second.

Finally, the third film will be released apporximately seven months after that. It is titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again (was originally the second film) and will release July 18, 2014.

Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures said, "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."

I'm a little wary of how the story will be stretched across three films, as that sounds like a bit of a stretch, but Middle-Earth is safe in the hands of Peter Jackson. I'd like to believe that this is being done to tell more of the story, instead of solely for monetary purposes.

You can follow Movies and Culture Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ

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Lance Liebl Gamer, Disney enthusiast, opinionated sports fan, movie buff, and a father of two. You can follow Lance on Twitter @Lance_GZ.
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