The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy will arrive on UHD Blu-ray – and possibly other 4K HDR platforms – in December 2020, according to major retailers.
Update 2: Warner Bros has confirmed Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, 4K DI, non-HFR version of The Hobbit, and that both extended and theatrical versions will be included (via The Digital Bits). Amazon US now has pre-order pages for the non-Steelbook versions of the LOTR and Hobbit boxsets. New pictures added.
Update: US release date appears to be December 1, 2020. Steelbook versions are now up for pre-order on Best Buy here and here.
My own. My precious
Last year, news broke that Warner Bros was planning to re-release some of the most iconic movies in recent decades on UHD Blu-ray. However, the rumored "mid-2020" timeframe came and went.
It is now as good as confirmed that both trilogies will be released in December 2020 – at least in Europe. Major retailers like Amazon.de as well as jpc.de have started taking pre-orders, with December 3, 2020, specified as the release date. Update: December 1 in the US.
The two boxsets (with 9 and 6 discs, respectively) will include the extended and theatrical versions of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003) as well as An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).
Pre-order pages on jpc.de feature these covers. We don't know if they are the final ones
The Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot on analog 35mm film, whereas The Hobbit trilogy was shot digitally in 48fps with 3D, in up to 5K. The UHD Blu-ray specification does not include support for 48fps video nor 3D 4K. Update: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and 4K DI confirmed.
We would say that it is highly likely that both trilogies will also make it to digital 4K movie storefronts like iTunes and Vudu. And you can look forward to even more stories from Middle-earth sometime in 2021 when Amazon debuts the first season of the TV series that has already been renewed for a second season.
Amazon.de is now taking pre-orders for the LOTR and the Hobbit. Expect other major retailers to soon follow suit. Update: US release date is December 1, 2020. Regular versions are now up for pre-order on Amazon.com here and here. Steelbook versions are now up for pre-order on Best Buy here and here.
"For the time will soon come when Hobbits will shape the fortunes of all".