Hobbit party 'bigger than ever before'

TOM HUNT
Last updated 11:52 08/10/2012
Hobbit ''The Middle of Middle-earth''
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HOBBIT HOME: Wellington will become ''The Middle of Middle-earth'' during The Hobbit premiere. The logo was designed by Hobbit cartographer and calligrapher Daniel Reeve.
Orlando Bloom
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Dominion Post
PARTY TIME: Orlando Bloom at the world premiere of the third movie in the trilogy Lord of the Rings in Wellington.

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A party bigger than the 100,000-strong Return of the King premiere is being planned for the launch of The Hobbit movie in Wellington next month.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown today released more details of the November 28 premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Courtenay Place, in the central city, will be covered in more than 500m of red carpet, stretching from Taranaki St to the Embassy Theatre, which stars of the movie would walk down.

Hoping for  even larger crowds than when tens of thousands of people crammed into Courtenay Pl for the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King's 2003 premiere, Wellington City Council would install big screens in Waitangi Park with a live feed from the red carpet.

While it was impossible to say if The Hobbit premiere would attract more people than Return of the King, the big screens meant there was room for more people, she said.

In the week around the premiere, a Hobbit-inspired artisan market, featuring work of some of those who worked on The Hobbit, would be set up in Waitangi Park.

And in the nights leading up to the premiere, the Lord of the Rings trilogy would screen at Waitangi Park for free.

Wade-Brown and Sir Peter Jackson's spokesman, Matt Dravitzki, today launched a countdown clock to the premiere on the facade of the Embassy.

There are 51 days to go.

Wade-Brown also revealed Wellington would become known as The Middle of Middle-Earth during the premiere week.

She also unveiled a The Middle of Middle-Earth logo, designed by Hobbit cartographer and calligrapher Daniel Reeve.

Wellington Airport, which earlier announced it would have a Weta Workshop-designed Hobbit piece installed, would also change its motto from Wild at Heart  to The Middle of Middle-earth for the period around the premiere.

The premiere would get $1.1 million in council funding.

Jackson said he was ''thrilled'' the premiere would be in Wellington.

''Nowhere else in the world does a premiere quite like Wellington.''

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- The Dominion Post

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