The film that Helen Kelly and Labour didn’t want

Keeping in mind, most of the money was spent in New Zealand, this phenomenal success was well worth some tax and employment law changes.

Making the movie trilogy The Hobbit has cost more than half a billion dollars so far, double the amount spent on the three movies in the “The Lord of the Rings” series.

That figure includes the major 266 days of filming with actors that was completed last year, although it doesn’t include an additional two months or so of “pick-up” shoots done this year. There will likely also be additional post-production costs as the next two movies are completed.  

Through March 31, production had cost NZ$676 million New Zealand dollars, according to financial documents filed Friday.

Distributor Warner Bros. and director Peter Jackson may consider it money well spent. To date, only the first movie in the latest trilogy has been released. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey took in just over $1 billion at the box office.

The documents, filed online by New Zealand’s Companies Office, provide a rare insight into the exact costs of a blockbuster Hollywood production. Often studios release only rough estimates, if anything.

When making the trilogy, Warner Bros. created a wholly-owned New Zealand company it named “3 Foot 7 Ltd,” in reference to the diminutive stature of the movie’s hobbits and dwarves.

Company documents show that New Zealand taxpayers have so far contributed NZ$98 million to the trilogy through an incentive scheme designed to attract big budget movies to the country. Such schemes are common among US states and foreign countries that compete for movies.

We’re competing in an international marketplace, and the employment, economic and tourism benefits are well in excess of $98 million.

As Labour is so fond of saying “Where are the job?”.  Well, there they are!


Source: NZ Herald


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  • Michael

    Go to North America, meet a local and say you are from New Zealand. In your head, count to three…

    By the time you get to three, the words “Lord of the Rings” have been said.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Yes this is so true. The moment I say I am from NZ, they say “oh the land of David Cunliffe! God bless ya”

      • DLNZ

        Who needs a government shutdown when Wussel and Silent T will are already planning to shutdown the NZ economy. “Tax the precious” will be the number one priority.

    • James Howlett

      Or Flight of the Conchords :)

      • Michael

        Only the ones with good taste ;-)

        But seriously, at Disneyland last year one of the cast members gushed at the photos I had of Hobbit actors, sets, and the Gollum thing at the airport on my phone. She so wanted to come to NZ to see all the things Wellington just has gotten used to.

  • GazzW

    But, but, but Labour loves these movies. Otherwise why would you see Robertson & Arden et al parading themselves on the red carpet at the premiere? Just the same way they love Sky City hospitality at Eden Park.

  • thor42

    I’d *much* prefer that money go towards these movies rather than an America’s Cup challenge.

    At least with movies, you *know* that you will get something at the end of it.

    • GazzW

      I don’t know so much about the Americas Cup being a poor investment thor. Figures are now starting to come out now. Did you know that the Luna Rossa syndicate alone spent $42 million in Auckland. Never mind Ellison’s complex up at Warkworth or Team NZ. The downstream benefits of the Trade NZ presence in San Fran have yet to be felt. Don’t get me wrong I am all for movie investment but the Am Cup is just as important.

      • Steve (North Shore)

        And get the wanker NZ Media to report this? no way.
        I work in the Marine Industry, I have seen the trickle down effect before – after 1995. Americas Cup produces something real, technology. Hobbit stuff has its own place but it does not have that follow on.
        Fantasy is in the mind, boats are real

  • Honcho

    Law changes which wouldn’t be necessary if Australians were told to piss off, we have to remember where this all started, unions trying to expand their influence, and that influence started from a different bloody country.

  • middleagedwhiteguy
  • John Drinnan
    • Gweg Pwesland
      • John Drinnan

        surely whale at higher level than Throng

    • CheesyEarWax

      Stick to writing media gossip articles John, leave business developments and reporting to the experts.

      • John Drinnan

        Heu look – that report is through Joyce’s MBIE and your mates in govt – are they idiots too?

    • Steve (North Shore)

      Oh look a Horrid Media Whore

    • James Howlett

      What’s happening here? Is that actually John Drinnan? Is the Herald using links from the Whale to drive traffic now? Sorry I seem to have missed something here.

    • Macca

      Isn’t it funny John that you are able to get off your fat, useless arse and write something negative about this but when there was a real story two weeks ago about the supposed Prime Minister in waiting blatantly lying on his CV – not a word from you! What a pathetic little man you really are! Wankers like you should be sacked for non-performance!

    • You are starting to show your complete and utter left wing bias Drinnan.

      On top of that posting links to your own stories is troll behaviour…if i had gay demerits like Farrar you’d have some…but I don’t, i just use the ban hammer.

      Adjust you behaviour or are things so tough at the Herald now you have to leech traffic off me?

      • John Drinnan

        You’re promoting welfare not me ;-)

    • Col

      Who the F*&( are you, go find something to write about that you have not had to pinch from so blog sight, try this, is Lens arse clean, is so, why, if not, why not.

  • James Growley

    The rat faced Kelly should force her minion unions to bring their accounts and financial reporting up to date with audited and transparent accounts before she comments on anyone else’s financial matters.

  • Richard McGrath

    Any taxpayer contribution should be made as a loan repayable from Peter Jackson out of the $1B+ recouped once the movie is released.

    • John Drinnan

      sensible – but Hollywood wants welfare not loans –

      • Liberty

        So I take it you would support the closing or selling off.
        Radio NZ
        As it is only providing vehicle for the lefties to rant and
        entertain the old and the infirm.

        • John Drinnan

          public ownership more issue with TVNZ which disrupts ad markets, takes numerous subsidies and still makes tiny profits