via press release:
TNT Lands Rights to #1 Blockbuster
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.) has secured the network television premiere window for the #1 movie in the country, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which has taken in a dragon's haul of $127.5 million domestically and $403.8 million worldwide since it roared into theaters 10 days ago. The second in director Peter Jackson's trilogy of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, the blockbuster will mark its network television debut on TNT in 2016. The first film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will make its debut on the network in 2015. The Hobbit trilogy is being distributed domestically by Warner Bros. Pictures.
TNT first ventured into Tolkien's Middle Earth with its network television premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2004. The network followed with the premieres of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in 2005 and Best Picture Oscar® winner The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2006.
"TNT has been the primary television home to Tolkien's Middle Earth for nearly a decade, beginning with our network television premieres of The Lord of the Rings trilogy," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "We're proud to continue our association with these extraordinary and enormously popular epics with the acquisition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."
About The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle Earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking 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 Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company travels East, encountering along the way the skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all—a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself – The Dragon Smaug.
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt and Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The film also stars Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett and Lawrence Makoare.
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures present a Wingnut Films production, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories and all international television distribution being handled by MGM.
TNT is television's destination for drama. Seen in 101 million households and ranking among cable's top networks, TNT is home to such original drama series as Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, Falling Skies, Perception, Dallas and Franklin & Bash, as well as the three-week television event Mob City and the upcoming series Legends, The Last Ship and Murder in the First. The network also features dramatic unscripted originals like Cold Justice, Boston's Finest, Marshal Law: Texas and the upcoming APB with Troy Dunn, Private Lives of Nashville Wives, Save Our Business, Inside Job, On the Menu (working title), Wake Up Call (working title) and Life Flight. In addition, TNT is the cable home to popular dramas like Hawaii Five-0, Castle, The Mentalist, Bones and Supernatural; primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; blockbuster movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
TNT is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company. Turner Broadcasting creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.