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'The Hobbit': Third film in the series gets a new title

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(Read caption) 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' stars Martin Freeman (l.) and John Callen (r.).

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The third installment in the planned “Hobbit” film trilogy has received a new title.

Originally titled “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” the third movie will now be known as “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” according to “Hobbit” director Peter Jackson.

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Jackson, who also directed the film adaptations of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, explained in a Facebook post that “There” fit better as a title when the series was planned as two films, not three.

“’There and Back Again’ felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo’s arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film,” he wrote. “But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced – after all, Bilbo has already arrived ‘there’ in the ‘Desolation of Smaug.’”

“Armies” is scheduled to be released this December.

The second part of Jackson’s trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” was released this past December and Monitor film critic Peter Rainer gave it a B+ grade, writing that “there’s much more eye-catching mayhem here than in the last [film]…. Bilbo Baggins [Martin Freeman] gets to face off against one of the great movie dragons of all time and there’s a giant spider attack sequence that represents Jackson at his gross-out best…. Most middle movies in a trilogy simply mark time. Not this one.”