‘The Hobbit’ premieres in Middle Earth (actually, New Zealand)

(Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images)
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“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” had its long-expected party in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, on Wednesday. Thousands of fans lined the blocks-long red carpet to greet director Peter Jackson and his cast of dwarfs, hobbits and wizards.

Wellington’s Embassy Theater was decorated to look like a hobbit house as cast members Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis and Hugo Weaving in addition to Gandalf’s band of dwarfs soaked in the fan adoration. Director James Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis, also attended the event.

According to the Associated Press, an Air New Zealand plane decorated with characters from “The Hobbit” flew low over the city, drawing huge fan cheers.


FULL COVERAGE: ‘The Hobbit’ on Hero Complex

Jackson filmed both the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the three “Hobbit” films in New Zealand, making extensive use of the country’s landscape.

However, it wasn’t all cheers on the streets of Wellington. The AP also reported that a handful of animal rights protesters appeared at the event with signs referring to the deaths of three horses and two dozen other animals during production.

At a pre-premiere news conference, Jackson denied any animal mistreatment or abuse.

Video from the premiere event, as well as extensive coverage of “The Hobbit” can be found on Hero Complex here.


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