LOS ANGELES – "The Hobbit" is coming to theaters sooner than you think, but later than you initially thought.
Warner Bros. is scheduling Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro's two-part adaptation of "The Hobbit" for December 2012 and December 2013.
Confusion over release dates surfaced Wednesday when Imax announced an overall, 20-film, three-year deal with Warners. In outlining which films would be included, Imax incorrectly indicated 2013 as the release date for the first "Hobbit" movie.
But 2013 is two years later than the 2011 release date that New Line and MGM targeted for the first installment when the two companies originally announced the movies in December 2007.
However, 2011 proved not to be a realistic date and instead served more as a guideline, according to insiders, because when it was first announced, no scripts were written, nor schedules or budgets drawn up.
While the project is taking a bit longer than the filmmakers anticipated, it is now on track for 2012 -- rather than the 2013 date mentioned in the Imax release.
The second movie's script was turned in to the studio a couple of weeks ago.
Warners moved quickly to set the calendar straight in the wake of the Imax release, and by midday, the giant-screen-format company said it was going to send out a correction, officially making 2012 the new date for the first "Hobbit" movie.