It's already been split into a trilogy, but that hasn't stopped Peter Jackson announcing a lengthy run time for his first Hobbit film.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again, due for release on December 14, will be two hours and 40 minutes long, Jackson has revealed.

The director told movie magazine Empire that would make it the shortest film out of his Lord of the Rings series.

"It's looking like it's going to be about 10 minutes shorter than Fellowship was," he said.


"So it's going to be officially our shortest Middle Earth yet. I mean, Fellowship was just under three hours and this is about 2 hours 40 minutes at the moment."

An average film sits around the 100-minute mark, but Jackson has a tradition of releasing long movies. He released extended editions of each of the three Lord of the Rings movies, one of which topped the four-hour mark.

Jackson also told Empire that only the closing credits and a few effects shots remained to be finished on the film.

That's not the only Hobbit news out today, with a new TV spot hitting screens in America featuring footage not seen in the recent full-length trailer.

Meanwhile, Dolby Laboratories Inc and Jackson's Park Road Post Production announced today that An Unexpected Journey will be mixed and released in Dolby Atmos.

The immersive new sound system features two extra arrays of overhead speakers and the ability to direct sounds to individual speakers inside movie theaters.

The Hobbit film series is adapted from JRR Tolkien's tale of Bilbo Baggins and is set in the fictional realm of Middle Earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings.

Dolby says it expected to have the Atmos platform installed in 80 to 100 US theatres in time for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.


The first of three films in The Hobbit series is slated to be released on December 14.

- with AP