Peter Jackson announced on Facebook Thursday that the third and final installment of the Hobbit films will be entitled The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
In choosing the new name, the Lord of the Rings director of the Lord of the Rings is completely eschewing author J.R.R. Tolkien's original name for his fantasy book, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. Jackson split Tolkien's book into three films, with the first titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the second The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
The studio has been referring to the third film as There and Back Again until now.
Jackson explained the name change in his Facebook post:
“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. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived “there” in the "Desolation of Smaug."
An Unexpected Journey grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, but The Desolation of Smaug only brought in a little over $950 million, according to Box Office Mojo. Though the returns were huge for both movies, the franchise still saw a decline this past holiday season. Perhaps Jackson and Warner Bros. (one of the studios behind the Bilbo Baggins epic) hope that the grander name The Battle of the Five Armies will do better at the box office.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is set to release in December of next year.