The Hobbit Has Made So Much That New Zealand Wants Its Money Back.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been out for little more than a month and yet has already pulled in more than $886 million worldwide. While this should be all around great news for film’s director Peter Jackson and its distributor Warner Bros., its meteoric rise has inspired a rabblerousing politician to demand about $56 million dollars be refunded to New Zealand, where the movie—as well as its forthcoming sequels—were shot.
Deadline reports the New Zealand government offered Jackson’s production company Wingnut Films $56 mil to encourage the director to create as many jobs in the country as possible. In response, Jackson not only employees hordes of actors, but also armies of set builders, engineers, and visual effects artists. It’s estimated that The Hobbit trilogy’s production created 3,000 jobs in the country not counting the boost it would bring to the economy in the forms of catering, hotel rooms and air travel for its sprawling cast and crew. While the figure of roughly 3,000 jobs is agreed upon by Wingnut Films and NZ Prime Minister John Key, NZ First party leader Winston Peters insists this number was “plucked out of the air.”
Talking to the NZ site Stuff, Peters states plainly:
“Now the first movie has grossed more than $1 billion, Warner Brothers should repay the $67 million subsidy the movie moguls sucked from Kiwi taxpayers.”