Over nine months have passed since Fox claimed the same July 2014 release date for X-Men: Days of Future Past as The Hobbit: There and Back Again (a.k.a. The Hobbit 3). New Line Cinema has finally relented and is moving Peter Jackson's film back to December, the traditional launch-time for its Middle-earth adventures.
Meanwhile, Universal has shuffled around two comic book adaptations scheduled to open during the upcoming Summer, in the forms of Kick-Ass 2 and 2 Guns. Last, but not least: Paramount has formally added director Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street to the 2013 Awards Season lineup, settling on a November debut.
Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey divided critics over its artistic merits (in comparison to his Lord of the Rings trilogy), but the film will cross the $1 billion mark at the global box office within a couple weeks, at the latest. Hence, it's not surprising that New Line/MGM has decided to avoid possibly losing momentum working for them - by pushing There and Back Again to the Winter Holiday frame, where audiences have proven receptive to revisiting J.R.R. Tolkien's mystical world of hobbits, dwarfs and other fantasy creatures.
There and Back Again is hitting screens on December 17th, 2014 (including, HFR 3D theaters). It opens just over a year after the second installment, subtitled The Desolation of Smaug continues the story of Bilbo and his dwarfish companions' trek to the Lonely Mountain (here's a peek at the dragon's lair). Director Brad Bird's enigma sci-fi project Tomorrowland arrives two days later, providing competition for the attention of film geeks and families. Both ought to walk away perfectly fine, as far as the box office battle goes.
Kick-Ass 2 is stepping down from its planned June 28th, 2013 showdown against the Roland Emmerich thriller White House Down - one of this year's two "Die Hard in the White House" offerings - and The Heat, which reunites director Paul Feig and Bridesmaids actress Melissa McCarthy. It has less competition in the area of adult-oriented entertainment on its new August 16th date, facing off against the raunchy Aubrey Plaza comedy The To-Do List. Meanwhile, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is a sequel hoping to draw in families that weekend.
2 Guns is being switched out for Kick-Ass 2, with the former moving up to August 2nd. Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington are headlining the crime-thriller comic book adaptation, so a reasonable turnout is guaranteed. However, it does have strong competition in the forms of the comic book movie sequels 300: Rise of an Empire and RED 2 (not so much The Smurfs 2, which opens earlier that week).
[caption id="attachment_166322" align="aligncenter" width="570"] Marty and Leo are re-teaming for 'The Wolf of Wall Street'[/caption]
The Wolf of Wall Street doesn't fall into the same entertainment category as those comic book films, which is why it's not arriving until November 15th, 2013. Wolf's prestigious director, lead actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), screenwriter (Terence Winter, the creator of Boardwalk Empire), supporting cast and fascinating subject matter (based on Jordan Belfort's tell-all memoir) makes it an obvious heavyweight in the critical and awards buzz arena. Basically, it's this year's Lincoln.
2 Guns shoots up theaters on August 2nd, 2013.
Kick-Ass 2 hit the scene on August 16th, 2013.
The Wolf of Wall Street begins its party on November 15th, 2013.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again concludes the journey on December 17th, 2014.
Source: New Line Cinema, Universal Pictures, Paramount