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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premieres in New Zealand

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premieres in New Zealand

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premieres in New Zealand

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The day has finally arrived—for New Zealanders at least. Last night, the whole of New Zealand celebrated at the world premiere of the first part of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, at the Embassy Theatre in downtown Wellington. Many central roads were closed off and traffic barriers were put in place to accommodate the 500-meter red carpet leading to the theater doors. More than 10,000  fans decked out in wizard hats and elf ears erupted in applause when the recently-revealed Air New Zealand Hobbit-themed plane carrying actors from the movie flew over the theater. Surrounded by stars of the Middle-earth drama like Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett and many more, Jackson walked down the red carpet signing autographs and taking photos with fans. Although Jackson told Reuters that it had been a “difficult journey,” he was overjoyed to see New Zealand’s ecstatic reception and said that seeing such a massive crowd was an “emotional and very humbling” experience. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits North American theaters on December 14. ~Brandon Bastaldo

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