The Hobbit premiere red carpet draws 1000s

06:50, Nov 28 2012
Hobbit gallery
Peter Jackson stunned fans with a surprise visit to the Hobbit pre-premiere party at the Amora Hotel.
Hobbit gallery
Barry Eldridge made knitwear including capes and scarves for the Hobbit, and sold his wares at the Hobbit Artisan Market at Wellington's Waitangi Park in the days leading up to the premiere.
Hobbit gallery
Starbucks Courtenay Place baristas Rachel Henderson, left, and Alex Francis stayed up for two nights to dress up their store in Hobbit-themed decorations.
Hobbit gallery
Weta Workshop created this sculpture of Gollum looming from above in Wellington Airport.
Hobbit gallery
Embassy Theatre, which is to host the Hobbit premiere, installed a huge sculpture of Gandalf above its entrance.
Hobbit Gallery
NZ Post put up backlit silhouettes of Hobbit characters on its Wellington building.
Hobbit gallery
Hobbit stars Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Zealandia's Lauren Schaer, Elijah Wood and Richard Armitage pay a visit to Zealandia.
The Hobbit: The fans get ready
Robert Schrimf and Lisa Heissmeier camp out.
The Hobbit: The fans get ready
This group came well prepared.
The Hobbit: The fans get ready
Stephanie Kirkby and Meg Gatland-Veness.
The Hobbit: The fans get ready
Some even braved the Wellington night air and camped out overnight alongside the red carpet.
The Hobbit: The fans get ready
Charlie Allan, Elise Hart and Victoria Gridley go all out for the Hobbit premiere.
Trolls on red carpet
Giant trolls have been set up on the red carpet in Courtenay Place
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans hit Courtenay Place
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans will be watching a live stream from the red carpet in Waitangi Park.
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans will be watching a live stream from the red carpet in Waitangi Park.
The Hobbit: Premiere day
The Hobbit cast join director Peter Jackson for a media conference on premiere day.
The Hobbit: Premiere day
Cate Blanchett with Jackson at a press conference this morning
Trolls on red carpet
Giant trolls have been set up on the red carpet in Courtenay Place
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans hit Courtenay Place
Hobbit presser
Cate Blanchett at the Hobbit premiere press conference.
Hobbit presser
Martin Freeman at the Hobbit premiere press conference.
Trolls on red carpet
Statues of Middle-earth figures are put in place on the red carpet.
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans dressed as elves wait for the show to start on the red carpet in Wellington.
hobbit fans 2
Hobbit fans look at a giant screen before the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
embassy's hobbit view
A view from the Embassy Theatre as the red carpet is set up for The Hobbit premiere.
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans wait for the show to start on the red carpet in Wellington.
More hobbit fans
Hobbit fans line the barriers at the red carpet for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
dwarven hobbit fan
A Hobbit fan dressed as a dwarf - complete with knitted hair and beard - waits for the show to start.
gandalf the grey
Derek Carver of Christchurch - dressed as Gandalf the Grey - waits for the show to start on the red carpet.
nazgul fan
A Tolkien fan dressed as a Nazgul or black rider poses for a photo with other fans on Courtenay Place.
high angle hobbit
A high-angle shot of the red carpet on Courtenay Pl ahead of the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The Hobbit premiere red carpet
A view of the end of Courtenay Pl near the Embassy Theatre as the premiere event for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey heats up.

The premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey could not have gone more smoothly, with perfect weather, glamorous stars and huge crowds.

The stars and crew behind the Hobbit  finished the 500 metre journey down the red carpet before heading in to see the world premiere of the film

The weather was wonderful, reaching 22degC as stars signed autographs, fans cheered and Andy Serkis ran along the red carpet high-fiving people as Wellington celebrated the premiere in style.

The Hobbit premiere red carpet
A view of the end of Courtenay Pl near the Embassy Theatre as the premiere event for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey heats up.
hobbit carpet watchers
Hobbit fans amass at a local bar to get a good view of the red carpet.
hobbit fans squash in
Hobbit fans squash in to Courtenay Pl to see the stars walk the red carpet.
Hobbits
People walk the red carpet at the premiere of The Hobbit - including New Zealand Post staff in red and yellow.
overview of hobbit red carpet
A view from a building of the red carpet at the premiere of The Hobbit in Wellington.
Neil Finn at hobbit
Neil Finn performs on the red carpet at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington
Peter Jackson at Hobbit premiere
Sir Peter Jackson talks with fans at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
neil Finn at Hobbit premiere
Neil Finn performs at the red carpet event at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Sir Peter Jackson at Hobbit premiere
Sir Peter Jackson and daughter Katie at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Martin Freeman at Hobbit premiere
Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Air New Zealand 777-300 at Hobbit premiere
The Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300 with Hobbit-themed livery flies over Courtenay Pl in Wellington during the red carpet event.
Huge crowds at Hobbit premiere
Huge crowds at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Andy Serkis at Hobbit premiere
Andy Serkis with wife Lorraine Ashbourne at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington. Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown is in the background.
Hugo Weaving at Hobbit premiere
Hugo Weaving, who plays Elrond, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington. Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown is in the background.
Sylvester McCoy at Hobbit premiere
Sylvester McCoy, who plays wizard Radagast the Brown, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
James Nesbitt at Hobbit premiere
James Nesbitt, who plays Bofur, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Stephen Hunter and Graham McTavish at Hobbit premiere
Stephen Hunter, left, who plays Bombur, and Graham McTavish, who plays Dwalin at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Cate Blanchett at Hobbit premiere
Cate Blanchett, who plays Galadriel, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
James Cameron and wife Suzy Amis at Hobbit premiere
Director James Cameron and wife Suzy Amis at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Evangeline Lily at Hobbit premiere
Evangeline Lily, right, at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Cate Blanchett at Hobbit premiere
From left, Designer Andrea Moore, Cate Blanchett and Dominion Post editor Bernadette Courtney at the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Andy Serkis red carpet
Andy Serkis runs down the red carpet at the Hobbit premiere in Wellington.
James Nesbitt red carpet
James Nesbitt signs autographs on the Hobbit premiere red carpet.

About 100,000 fans - many in costume - lined Courtenay Pl for the event, in scenes reminiscent of the Return of the King premiere in 2005.

"This is echoing in the past for me," Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo Baggins, said.

Despite large crowds, police reported well-behaved crowds - something the film's lead actor Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, commented on.

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"For a baying mob, they are very well-behaved."

With some in the crowd having camped out overnight to nab the best spots, the party atmosphere kicked off long before the A-listers arrived, with the film’s trailer and Neil Finn keeping the crowds entertained.

The red carpet walk officially began at 4.30pm, with many of the big names among the first to arrive.

For most, it took about two hours to walk the 500m carpet to the Embassy Theatre, as the big names stopped to talk to fans and sign autographs.

The film's director Sir Peter Jackson said there was no better place to release the film.

'It's the home crowd isn’t it? You can't do better."

He did admit, however, he had little choice in where the premiere would be held.

"I do know that if I didn't have a movie here for the premiere, I’d be in awful trouble. I’d be in the poo, as we say."

Work on the film had gone down to the wire, and he had only seen a full version a few days ago.

For many in the cast, tonight would be their first viewing of the film.

"I'm hoping I am still in this film," Barry Humphries, who plays The Great Goblin said.

Others to grace the red carpet included Cate Blanchett, who turned heads in a dress with a red chiffon top, white midriff and long black skirt - even posing for a photo with Dominion Post editor Bernadette Courtney.

She said she was excited to see the movie, but sad that Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf, wasn’t there for the premiere.

But Sir Ian was there in spirit, sending a video message from London.

"I wish I were there in my spiritual home in Wellington."

Viewers were in for a treat, he said.

The first screening was due to start showing at 7.30pm in both the Reading and Embassy cinemas.

A spokesman for Wellington Free Ambulance said it had been a very quiet day. They treated four people for a mild heat exhaustion, but they were back in the crowd after fluids.

The Dominion Post