'The Hobbit: There and Back Again' Pushed Back From Summer 2014 to December 2014

Warner Bros. Pictures
Martin Freeman in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

The movie, from New Line and MGM, is the third title in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" series.

The release of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: There and Back Again is being pushed back five months, from July 18, 2014, to Dec. 17, 2014.

From New Line and MGM, the pic is the final title in Jackson's trilogy.

PHOTOS: The Hard Road to 'The Hobbit'

News of the shift comes as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey prepares to cross the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office, thanks to a strong run in China. The movie's global gross is approaching $990 million as the weekend gets underway.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second title, is staying put and will open Dec. 13.

The relocation of There and Back Again means the 3D tentpole won't have to face direct competition from Fox's X-Men: Days Of Future Past.