Peter Jackson‘s “The Hobbit” trilogy is following in the same steps that his “Lord of the Rings” series did a decade ago, even down to its running times. In a new conversation with Empire magazine, Jackson approximated how long “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” out Dec. 14, will run, and the number is very similar to the length of the first “Lord of the Rings” movie, “The Fellowship of the Ring.”
“It’s looking like it’s going to be about ten minutes shorter than ‘Fellowship’ was,” Jackson explains. “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.”
The reason why the number isn’t exact yet is because Jackson hasn’t finished all the special effects for the film or added in the credits, but “An Unexpected Journey” likely will be around that length. The movie probably would have been longer had Jackson not split his planned two “Hobbit” films into three. Now “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will come out Dec. 13, 2013 and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” will hit theaters July 18, 2014.