Epic fantasy adventure film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" made its debut on Chinese screens on Friday.
The film is the first of a three-part adaptation of the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, with parts two and three to be released in 2013 and 2014. The three together will act as prequels to "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy.
According to the China Film Group Corporation, the film's importer, the movie is set in Middle-earth 60 years before the first installment of "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy. It tells the tale of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who is convinced by Gandalf the wizard to accompany 13 dwarves on an adventure on which Baggins eventually obtains the ring.
The film is directed by Peter Jackson, who also helmed "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy. "The Hobbit" made its world premiere in Jackson's native New Zealand on Nov. 28, 2012.
The cast includes Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving.