By 3 News online staff
A New York Times business blogger has accused New Zealand of going “over the top” in preparation for The Hobbit movie premiere.
Blogger Charles Anderson says Wellington’s “intense efforts to promote The Hobbit are far from apologetic”.
The blog post “New Zealand goes over the top over Middle Earth” lists the marketing tools New Zealand is using to promote the film, including the Hobbit Trail, the Air New Zealand safety briefing, the giant Gollum sculpture in Wellington Airport, The Hobbit-themed postage stamps and coins and the Bilbo-adorned countdown clock on the Embassy Theatre.
Mr Anderson also reiterates the fact that Wellington has spent $1 million promoting the film, and the New Zealand Government offered Warner Brothers a $25 million tax break plus a 15 percent subsidy to have the trilogy filmed in New Zealand.
However he did not mention the giant Gandalf figurine and hobbit-hole door which also stand on the Embassy Theatre, nor the brand new screen, three new projectors, 36 new speakers, new screen curtain and new carpet recently installed in the theatre ahead of the film’s premiere.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla got a behind the scenes look at The Hobbit and met Peter Jackson when they visited Weta Workshops as part of their New Zealand tour last week, which was widely reported in overseas media.
The Hobbit has faced controversy recently as animal handlers claimed 26 animals being used in the film died at the farm where they were living during filming.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premieres on November 28 in Wellington.