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New Zealand Awaits Hobbit Premiere in Wellington

In Uncategorized on November 28, 2012 at 4:49 am

New Zealand Awaits Hobbit Premiere in Wellington

Wellington expects crowds of up to 100,000 for the premiere

Hobbit mania erupted in New Zealand’s capital ahead of the world premiere of Peter Jackson’s new trilogy.

The first of the three movies – prequels to the Lord of the Rings trilogy – will be shown at Wellington’s Embassy Theatre on Wednesday evening.

Stars have flown in for the event, which has seen Wellington rebranded as “the Middle of Middle Earth”.

Ahead of the screening, thousands of fans – some in costume – had gathered around the theatre.

Some camped overnight to secure spots close to the 500m-long red carpet that leads to the theatre – now decorated to look like the entrance to a Hobbit house.

‘Never perfect’

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is the first film of the trilogy, which altogether cost US$500m (£312m) to make and was filmed in New Zealand. The second film is set for release in December 2013 and the third in July 2014.

Ahead of the screening, Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson said he was nervous about the film’s reception.

“Nothing’s ever perfect and it never will be; it’s a real mistake if you say we’re stopping now because we’ve made the perfect film,” he told Radio New Zealand. “You never have and you never will.”

Wellington City Council has put months of planning and just over NZ$1m ($820,000; £512,000) into preparations for the premiere, Radio New Zealand reported, as have tourism officials looking to boost visitor numbers.

Tony Everitt, Asia manager for Tourism New Zealand, told the BBC he expected tourism revenue to rise by as much as US$400m annually because of the films.

The trilogy has taken more than five years to film and hit a number of obstacles. Filming was delayed for months over funding problems and a row over actors’ wages – at one point studio executives suggested moving filming to Britain.

Earlier this week, Jackson also rejected claims from animal rights group Peta that up to 27 animals had died during filming, saying no animals were harmed.

In Wellington, however, crowds appeared set for a party. Up to 100,000 people are expected to gather for the premiere.

Source:BBC News

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