The final instalment in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy has been pushed back so that it’s in line with the preceding two movies (and keeping with the tradition of the Lord of the Rings movies, which were all released in time for the holiday season). The final release of The Hobbit, entitled The Hobbit: There And Back Again will now be scheduled for release on December 17, 2014, to follow last December’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and this coming December’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Warner Bros, who are co-financing the movie with MGM revealed the news in a statement, with the company’s distribution president Dan Fellman explaining “We're excited to complete the trilogy the same way we started it, as a holiday treat for moviegoers everywhere,” The Guardian reports. The first of The Hobbit trilogy became Peter Jackson’s second highest grossing movie, behind Lord Of The Rings: The Return of The King. The Hobbit raked in $981million worldwide, behind a top-grossing figure of $1.119 billion worldwide. 

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson, director of The Hobbit movies

The final Hobbit film is set to introduce characters such as the Master of Laketown, played by Stephen Fry and the dwarf king Dain, played by Scottish comedian Billy Connolly. The popularity of its predecessor bodes well for this year’s release. Although Jackson’s movie fell short of receiving major awards glory, the box office results will be more than compensation enough for the director and his crew.