Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit' Nails Down China Release Date, Opens in February

Warner Bros. Pictures

The 3D tentpole will use the run to boost its chances of hitting $1 billion worldwide in box office grosses.

New Line and MGM's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has secured a China release date -- Feb. 22.

Executives working in Warner Bros.' international division had been waiting to hear from Chinese officials as to when Peter Jackson's 3D tentpole would open (Warners is New Line's parent company).

PHOTOS: The Hard Road to 'The Hobbit'

A strong China run should guarantee that The Hobbit' crosses the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office. Through Sunday, the film has crossed $278.2 million domestically and $609.3 million worldwide for a total $887.5 million.

Hollywood tentpoles -- and especially those released in 3D -- have been doing huge business in China, where moviegoing is flourishing thanks to an exploding middle class.

Ang Lee's Life of Pi recently took in $90.8 million in China, while the 3D re-release of Titanic raked in $150 million last year.