Peter Jackson just announced on his Facebook page that The Hobbit will officially be given a third film to make the series a trilogy. This doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been following Hobbit news for the past few weeks after Jackson himself teased the idea of a third film at Comic-con a few weeks ago.
What's interesting about this newly announced third film is the timing. Jackson originally planned for two films, filmed back to back, much in the same way he produced the LOTR series of films. This time around, though, Jackson decided to do another Hobbit film after watching the first film and a large portion of the second. There could be two reasons for this.
One, the second Hobbit film stinks so bad (which might explain why he was only able to get through a chunk of it and not the whole thing) that Jackson wants to go back and re-shoot some scenes while extending/deleting others to make it less sucky.
Or, he and New Line Cinema/MGM/Warner Bros. saw the footage from the first two films then proceeded to make love to one another in the editing bay atop a stack of money. Nine months later, out pops a third Hobbit film.
My guess is the latter. The trilogy will be completed come Summer of 2014, and this third film could be a death-knell to Jackson's camp (King Kong and The Lovely Bones went up in smoke) should it go the route of the first Breaking Dawn or the first Deathly Hallows film. Those two films were complete stinkers that the studios decided to cash in on before closing out those series.
It's a smart move for Jackson. These days all he has is Middle-earth. Unfortunately, what may be a smart move for one man, may be a terrible move for film-goers and fans of Tolkien's work.