The release date for the final film in The Hobbit trilogy has been announced.
It will follow more closely on the heels of the second film, the name of which has been re-titled.
The final instalment, titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will have its international release on July 18, 2014 - just seven months after film number two, which has been re-titled The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Warner Bros executive Dan Fellman said the studios wanted the final two films in the trilogy to be closer together.
''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 tent pole, but fans will have less time to wait for the finale of this epic adventure."
The film's first issue, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro, is due for release December 14.
Wellington will roll out the red carpet once again, for An Unexpected Journey, when the world premiere is held at The Embassy theatre on November 28.
- The Dominion Post