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- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 
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- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in IMAX 3D 
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Peter Jackson's much-anticipated follow-up to the hugely successful and popular Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, opened in theaters December 14, 2012, just three short months ago. It did very well in theaters, and even garnered some Academy Award nominations, and now it's becoming available for purchase!
The Blu-ray and DVD versions of the movie are being released on Tuesday, March 19th, but the downloadable versions are available now on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, and several other services. If you want the 3D version, you'll have to purchase the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack). Given that it's only a few bucks more than the non-3D Blu-ray pack, I think that's the one to purchase if you have, or think you'll ever have, a 3D display. Personally, I found the 3D effects to be good, so that's the one I'll be purchasing, even though I usually prefer watching movies in 2D. Both Blu-ray combo packs come with a DVD and UltraViolet edition as well, so you've got your formats covered.
If you just can't bring yourself to enjoy high definition, the low-res The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) also includes an UltraViolet copy and is about $10 less.
When you pre-order discs through Amazon, they come with a pre-order price guarantee, which makes it painless to order online, and if another site or major chain (like Best Buy, WalMart, or Target) has it for cheaper, they'll likely price-match them, and if they do, you automatically get credited the difference between your purchase price and the lowest price Amazon has on it up to release day.
Buy the Discs and Get a Sneak Peek at "The Desolation of Smaug"
Another benefit of buying one of the editions mentioned above is that you will be able to enjoy a sneak peek at the next installment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, on March 24, 2013, presented by director Peter Jackson. See the promo page for what few details are available.
Skip the Disc, Download Now
Studios are steadily pushing the marketplace into downloads and streaming copies of their movies, and one of the ways they are doing it is to offer those versions ahead of the physical disc releases. As such, you can purchase and download the movie from Amazon Instant Video and iTunes right now and enjoy them on the compatible device of your choice. I can't bring myself to sacrifice the quality of Blu-ray for the convenience of downloads, but some people love downloads and hate physical discs, so if you're allergic to polycarbonate and/or you're impatient to watch the movie, click away!
Rundown of Purchase Options
Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack
Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack
DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy
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