It appears that Bilbo, Gandalf and company have been scared off by the X-Men.
Warner Bros. have delayed Peter Jackson’s third (necessary?) film of The Hobbit from July 18, 2014 to December 17, 2014. The July date was also the opening of Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future’s Past which is turning into way more than just a sequel to First Class. It is becoming an X-Men all-star movie starring almost every character from the entire franchise.
With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey closing in on one billion dollars, the move to December should not hurt its box office, even taking it out of a prime summer slot. As of right now the third Hobbit movie will open up in December 2014 unopposed. Much better than fighting with Professor X for moviegoers wallets.