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February 05, 2013

‘Hobbit’ Blu-ray release March 19 won’t have extended edition

Posted in: Movies

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"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" -- the first film in Peter Jackson's trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien's book "The Hobbit" -- opened in theaters Dec. 14. Here's a look at the film's images. (Warner Bros.)

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Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, left, and Graham McTavish as Dwalin in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Graham McTavish as Dwalin, left, Ken Stott as Balin and Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Director Peter Jackson, left, and Martin Freeman on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf the Grey in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Martin Freeman, left, and Peter Jackson on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen, left, and Peter Jackson on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Hugo Weaving as Elrond, left, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Hugo Weaving, left, Peter Jackson and Ian McKellen on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Galadriel actress Cate Blanchett, left, and director Peter Jackson on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Actors and director Peter Jackson on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Dean O'Gorman as Fili, left, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Dean O'Gorman, left, and Richard Armitage in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, left, and Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Cate Blanchett as Galadriel in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Christopher Lee as Saruman and Hugo Weaving as Elrond in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Elijah Wood as Frodo, left, and Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen and Hugo Weaving in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Ian McKellen and Hugo Weaving in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Christopher Lee as Saruman the White in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Gollum, reprised by Andy Serkis in motion capture performance, in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Director Peter Jackson on the Bag End set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Ken Stott as Balin, left, John Callen as Oin, William Kircher as Bifur, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and Graham McTavish as Dwalin in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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John Callen, Dean O'Gorman, Aidan Turner and Stephen Hunter in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Stephen Hunter, Adam Brown, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy and Peter Hambleton in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Gollum, performed by Andy Serkis, in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Gollum, performed by Andy Serkis, in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Trolls William, Tom and Bert, performed by Peter Hambleton, Mark Hadlow and William Kircher, respectively, in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Stephen Hunter as Bombur the dwarf, left, and Tom the troll in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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Dwarfs and stone giants in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

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The Great Goblin, performed by Barry Humphries, in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (New Line Cinema / MGM / Warner Bros.)

Middle-earth fans who buy “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” when it is released on Blu-ray and DVD March 19 will be privy to a sneak preview of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — the second movie in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien. But those hoping for an extended edition of the first film will have to wait until the holidays.

“An Unexpected Journey” will go on sale March 19 in three different combinations — a Blu-ray combo pack ($35.99), a Blu-ray 3-D combo pack ($44.95) and a DVD two-disc special edition ($28.98) — but all of them will feature the 169-minute theatrical version of the film, Warner Bros. announced Tuesday, adding that an extended edition will be available in time for the holidays.

So why would any self-respecting “Lord of the Rings” fan buy now instead of waiting for the scenes that didn’t make the theatrical cut? Warner Bros. is hoping to sweeten the deal by giving buyers an exclusive first look at “The Desolation of Smaug.” The event, hosted by Jackson, will be streamed live on March 24 at noon Pacific Time, and only holders of an UltraViolet code (found in the Blu-ray and DVD packs or issued by select digital retailers upon purchase) will have access.

The DVD and Blu-ray packs will also include Jackson’s behind-the-scenes production videos, from starting production and scouting locations to the film’s premiere in Wellington, New Zealand, last November.

The Blu-ray combo pack and two-disc special edition DVD releases of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (Warmer Bros.)

The Blu-ray combo pack and two-disc special edition DVD releases of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” (Warmer Bros.)

The film received mixed reviews, partly due to Jackson’s controversial decision to show the movie in 48 frames per second — a high frame rate that packs in super-sharp details — at some theaters. Many viewers found the high frame rate jarring, but despite the critiques, the movie broke box office records its opening weekend, raking in nearly $85 million. And the film has earned $949 million worldwide.

The story is set some 60 years before the events of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and many of the actors from Jackson’s Oscar-winning adaptation of those books reprised their roles in “The Hobbit.” Ian McKellen donned Gandalf’s robes, Cate Blanchett wore Galadriel’s crown and Andy Serkis worked in a skin-tight motion-capture suit once more, using the technology he helped put on the map a decade ago with his performance as Gollum.

New to the franchise are Martin Freeman, who plays the film’s hero Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage, who plays dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, and a dozen more actors who round out the company of dwarfs seeking to reclaim their homeland from a dragon. The dragon Smaug will be voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch in the upcoming films.

Here’s a look back at our coverage of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

GALLERIES:

PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘The Hobbit’

PHOTOS: Meet the dwarfs from ‘The Hobbit’

VIDEOS:

‘Hobbit’ FX wiz Joe Letteri on Gollum, the Goblin King and Azog

EXCLUSIVE CLIP: Gandalf warns Saruman of a powerful evil

Peter Jackson, the Hero Complex interview

Peter Jackson talks Smaug cameo, creature design

‘Hobbit’ offers more ‘sophisticated’ Gollum, Peter Jackson says

Peter Jackson’s ‘absolute belief’ in 48-frame format

Happy birthday, Peter Jackson, and happy flying

Live New Zealand world premiere’s red-carpet event

INTERVIEWS & STORIES:

Martin Freeman on Bilbo’s courage, moral code

Ian McKellen,Tolkien guardian, acting wizard

Philippa Boyens: Del Toro’s ‘Hobbit’ would have been ‘amazing’

Andy Serkis admits it was difficult to return to Gollum

William Kircher speaks Dwarvish, talks Bifur’s injury

Richard Armitage finds Thorin Oakenshield in ‘Macbeth’

Stephen Hunter on Bombur’s blubber, dwarf boot camp

Reactions mixed to the 48-frame film transformation

Dan Hennah brings eastern influence to production design

Peter King on yak wigs and the language of Middle-earth

Sylvester McCoy’s twin loves: Radagast, ‘Doctor Who’

Costume designer Ann Maskrey’s favorite look? Radagast

Fili actor Dean O’Gorman on taking risks, sexy dwarfs

Tami Lane on dwarf wrangling, silicone magic

Peter Jackson will craft Shire sound in Dolby Atmos

New Zealand releases Tolkien-themed currency, stamps

Comic-Con: Peter Jackson tours the Shire and beyond

‘The Hobbit’: An unexpected journey on- and off-screen

– Noelene Clark
Twitter.com/@NoeleneClark

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