Second 'Hobbit' pic now titled 'The Desolation of Smaug'

Warner Bros. and MGM have announced that final film in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy — now titled “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” — will be released worldwide on July 18, 2014.

The studios also announced the title of the second installment has been named “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The second pic had originally been titled “There and Back Again” before a third film took shape.

All three films have been shot in 3D at 48 frames-per-second and will be released in a variety of formarts — High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D, other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D.

Warner Bros. and New Line cleared all hurdles in late July to creating the third installment of “The Hobbit,” leading to Jackson’s announcement on July 30 with the exepectation that the final pic would go in the summer of 2014. But no definite date had been announced until Friday.

The announcement sets up a clash on July 18, 2014, between the third “Hobbit” and Fox’s sequel to “X-Men: First Class,” which is expected to begin shooting next year with Matthew Vaughn returning to direct.

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