Wellington to host ‘Hobbit’ World Premiere

October 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

(image credited to Mylor - flickr)

Sir Peter Jackson has announced that the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Part 1 will be held in Wellington, New Zealand, according to the Dominion Post online.

Sir Peter made the announcement yesterday morning, on the set of the The Hobbit movie, in Matamata.

He said the success of the world premiere of the  third Lord of the Rings movie, Return of the King, in Wellington was a huge factor in the decision:

” I think Warner Bros in particular were blown away by The Return of the King premiere. No one I don’t think in the international industry could quite believe how the country got behind that moment. I think everyone involved is quite honestly keen to have New Zealand have the premiere of the first Hobbit movie based on the absolutely incredible reception we had for the last one.”

Part of a deal signed by The Hobbit backers Warner Bros and New Line Cinema last year stated that at least one of the world premieres had to be held in New Zealand.

Return of the premiere

The Return of the King premiere, in 2003, saw 100,000 Wellingtonians packed onto Courtenay Place, and saw hundreds of the worlds international media converge on New Zealand’s capital.

Wellington mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, has said that the Wellington City Council has pledged their support for the premiere:

“This is terrific news for the Capital, it underlines the importance of the film industry to Wellington and also the commitment by Sir Peter and Sir Richard to our city’s culture and economy.”

Filming of the movie in Matamata began five days ago, after 110 days of filming in Wellington’s Weta Workshops.

"Hobbiton" - Matamata, New Zealand (image credited to Travelling Pooh - flickr)

Sets to stay

Sir Peter also announced that unlike after the Lord of the Rings movies, the set of The Hobbit will remain in place as a permanent visitor attraction.

“For 10 years it’s been the location that Hobbiton used to be, so I’m glad to be able to leave them here now.”

The set will see 44 Hobbit holes, a stone bridge, and The Green Dragon remain and will be run by Shire Tours.

The movie will premiere in Wellington in late November 2012, going onto world-wide release on December 14.

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