The third Hobbit film's release date has been pushed back from July 18, 2014 to December 17, 2014. If The Hobbit had kept its previous release date, it would have competed with X-Men: Days of Future Past. This later release date seems to be the best move for the franchise. With its new December release date, the movie will have little to no box office competitors.
The film, the third and final installment in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings prequel trilogy, is expected to make Warner Bros. and company quite a bit of dough. The first installment, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, made $300.9 million domestically and $979.9 million worldwide since its release this past December. The second installment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, will be released December 13, 2013.
The studio is sticking with the trend of December releases and who can blame them? It has obviously been very successful for them so far.