Exclusive: Hobbit Running Time Revealed

By Peter Jackson himself

Empire's Ultimate Hobbit : The Unexpected Journey issue – complete with five 3D lenticular covers – arrives on shelves tomorrow, Thursday October 24, and with it a whole host of Hobbit exclusives. Not least of which is the run time for Peter Jackson's upcoming film. Those who have been fearing that the change from two films to three would result in less Bombur for your buck, fear no more: it's still an epic length.

“It’s looking like it’s going to be about ten minutes shorter than Fellowship was," explains Jackson. "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 "at the moment" refers to the fact that the credits hadn't yet been added and not all effects shots finalised when we spoke to Jackson, but it's going to be close.

Finally, if you're curious about what to expect from all 160-odd minutes of Hobbity goodness, take a look at the extended scroll poster, the Lego sets and the full trailer below. Then again, you could just read Tolkien's book and make an educated guess.

The new issue of Empire will hit news stands tomorrow, October 25, as well as the iTunes store in the UK and US. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits cinemas on December 14, with two further films following on December 13, 2013 (The Desolation Of Smaug) and July 18, 2014 (There And Back Again).