Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
Thank you!I have seen both a cut that brings it back to 2 movies, and even a cut that brings it down to 1 movie. The first focuses mostly on cutting out all the unnecessary cameos. So everything with Legolas and Gandalf, except for the scenes where Gandalf is actually in the book.
The other cut is even more harsh. It keeps most of the shire stuff and the songs, but it gets Bilbo on the road to adventure much quicker. Lake Town is cut down dramatically, with the side characters removed. It does keep Bard and his family. But the Master of Laketown and his annoying sidekick are gone almost entirely (Sorry Stephen Fry, you only get a brief cameo and thats it). Also, no Tauriel (Sorry Evangeline Lilly).
What I found interesting, was how the editor of this last version tried to bring the focus of the movie back on Bilbo. It wasn't just a matter of cutting down the movie to make it shorter, but also to improve the story telling. It should be Bilbo's story, but early into Battle of the Five Armies it seems Bilbo disappears from the movie almost entirely.
If you're interested in this version, and/or want to hear the editor's thoughts on the editing, he has a video on it: