26 SCOOP IMAGES: Hobbit world premiere brings 20,000 to Courtenay Place


Courtenay Place at 6pm, seen from the top floor of the Embassy

Wellington.Scoop
More than 20,000 people crowded into Courtenay Place this afternoon to watch the guests walking on the red carpet for the world premiere of The Hobbit, the first film in Peter Jackson’s new Tolkien trilogy.


Courtenay Place at 2pm – Film Festival Trust photo


An hour or so later, the crowds are bigger – Weta photo.


Image by Scoop’s Alastair Thompson

Entertainment in front of the Embassy was headlined by Neil Finn. He began at 4pm with “History Never Repeats Itself” from Split Enz. He was also due to sing “Lonely Mountain,” which he wrote for the new movie.


Photo from Film Festival Trust

Where there’s a world premiere, there’s also the media. Coverage from Wellington is one of the reasons for the city council’s $1m support of the event.


Photo from Film Festival Trust

One for the media – Andy Serkis and Cate Blanchett outside the Embassy before the premiere.


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Many of the fans in Courtenay Place (some who’d stayed overnight) were dressed in honour of the Tolkien characters, and some (confusingly) were dressed as Wellingtonians – as Scoop’s Lyndon Hood shows with these images.

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Film stars and other VIP guests started arriving on the red carpet at 4.30pm and walked the 500 metres from the Taranaki Street end of Courtenay Place to the Embassy Theatre. Peter Jackson (photo Weta Workshop) was the hero of the day.


Image by Scoop’s Mark P Williams

This afternoon’s crowds included a contingent from Air New Zealand, which has invested in promoting the movie as part of its international tourism marketing campaign.


Props or snacks outside the Paramount? Photo by Weta Workshop

At 6.30pm there were speeches by Sir Peter, the Prime Minister and the Mayor. At 7pm the film had its premiere screening in the Embassy Theatre and also at the Reading Cinema Complex.

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