Johannesburg, December 8th 2014: - The epic conclusion to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins comes to the Silver Screen on December 12th when THE HOBBIT:  THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES is released around the world including South Africa.  To celebrate the final instalment of this much loved film franchise, Warner Bros., Times Media Films and the New Zealand High Commission will be hosting a prestigious premiere event at Movies @ Montecasino on Wednesday, December 10th.

The New Zealand High Commission is proud to play a part in this final chapter of THE HOBBIT. Sir Peter Jackson’s work not only pays tribute to the rich imagination of author JRR Tolkien, who was born in Bloemfontein, but it also showcases New Zealand as a stunning location to make films.

“This is a unique chance for New Zealand to show off our beautiful landscapes and our impressive film-making talent,” said New Zealand High Commissioner Richard Mann. “While this may mark the end of our time as Middle Earth, the recently signed Film Cooperation Agreement between New Zealand and South Africa helps pave the way for a new generation from both countries to join together for a promising film-making future.”

“It truly is the end of a magical era of film,” commented Driki van Zyl, General Manager of Times Media Films.  “From the original LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy to the three instalments of THE HOBBIT, audiences have been enthralled with Middle Earth and the adventures that take place within its lands.  The passion that Peter Jackson has brought to this franchise has made cinematic history!”

THE HOBBIT:  THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES brings to an end the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the Company of Dwarves.  The Dwarves of Erebor have reclaimed the vast wealth of their homeland, but now must face the consequences of having unleashed the terrifying Dragon, Smaug, upon the defenceless men, women and children of Lake-town.

As he succumbs to dragon-sickness, the King Under the Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield, sacrifices friendship and honour in his search for the legendary Arkenstone.  Unable to help Thorin see reason, Bilbo is driven to make a desperate and dangerous choice, not knowing that even greater perils lie ahead.  An ancient enemy has returned to Middle-earth.  Sauron, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain.

As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide—unite or be destroyed.  Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends as five great armies go to war.

“The Hobbit” Trilogy tells a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson and his team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

THE HOBBIT:  THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES releases in South Africa on Friday December 12th with advance paid sneak previews at all participating cinemas on Thursday December 11th.

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