To celebrate the third and final film in The Hobbit Trilogy, New Zealand transported a slice of Middle-earth to London in the form of a life-sized Hobbit hole constructed inside London’s luxurious Claridge’s hotel.
Up to 200 international entertainment media attending the world première of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) - used the Middle-earth-inspired space for interviews, as a part of the three-day première media programme in anticipation of the film's UK release from Warner Bros. Pictures on December 12.
Middle-earth stars profess love for New Zealand
The authentic display brought 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand to life, illustrating that New Zealand is a real place that will live on as a spectacular holiday destination beyond The Hobbit Trilogy’s epic conclusion.
The Hobbit hole hosted media interviews with actor Billy Boyd who performs the end title song for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Billy Boyd has had an on-going relationship with New Zealand since first playing Peregrin 'Pippin' Took more than a decade ago inThe Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Once a Hobbit Hole
Created in collaboration with Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata – one of New Zealand’s most successful tourist destinations – and flown to London by the “official airline of Middle-earth” Air New Zealand, the Hobbit hole inspired considerable worldwide media coverage for New Zealand.
Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said the exhibit told the story of New Zealand as a fun, must-see tourism destination, as well as an innovative, creative nation, and a great place to make films and do business.
"New Zealand came to London with a spectacular display that was open for five days. You literally stepped into Hobbiton past a picket fence, garden and a letterbox. On opening the Hobbit door, guests were transported into New Zealand where sweeping images of New Zealand’s stunning landscapes showcased what you can experience in Middle-earth,” said Kevin.
"We were delighted to be a part of the worldwide media programme in London, and believe the New Zealand room, which housed the Hobbit hole, helped motivate all those who experienced it to share the wider New Zealand story."
About the Hobbit hole and New Zealand room
The Hobbit hole was created at Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata, with input from Hobbiton General Manager Russell Alexander, The Hobbit Trilogy Art Director Brian Massey, head joiner Peter Hawke and builder Darren Roa.
The Hobbit hole featured a door that was originally constructed as part of the Green Dragon Inn and used during filming of The Hobbit Trilogy, but was removed when the set was transformed into a functional part of the Hobbiton tourism experience.
The Hobbit hole served as the location for official publicity activities surrounding the global release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth also had a strong presence on the red carpet for the World Première of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies with destination footage appearing on screens surrounding the red carpet.
About 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand
Tourism New Zealand is working to convert the international attention drawn to The Hobbit Trilogy's production in New Zealand into a campaign which demonstrates how easy it is for people to come to New Zealand, see the cinematic Middle-earth first hand, and experience all the country has to offer.
Investment in marketing New Zealand's association with The Hobbit Trilogy is paying off in increased visitor motivation and arrivals. Thirteen per cent of international holiday visitors said that The Hobbit Trilogy movies were a factor in influencing their initial interest in New Zealand [for the period July 2013 to June 2014].
In addition, research completed earlier in 2014 by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research found that the marketing of New Zealand as Middle-earth has had significant and quantifiable impact on growth in visitor arrivals from Western Markets.
International Visitor Arrivals data for January-September 2014 show that holiday arrivals into New Zealand are up 7.2 per cent as of last year. Holiday arrivals from the United Kingdom, a key target market for visitors to New Zealand, account for an impressive average stay of 28 days.
About The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a Wingnut Films Production, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. As with the first two films in the Trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the final film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM. www.thehobbit.net #OneLastTime