Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Hobbit Recieved $200 Million in New Zealand Incentives

A rather odd choice in a political attack vector from the Green Party in New Zealand (think far left liberals if in the US) revealed that Warner Bros received back $200 million in benefits from the government for filming The Hobbit trilogy in the country whose total production cost was $1.1 billion. Green Party spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter said the grant was "pretty extreme" saying "...our Government should [not] be handing out hundreds of millions of dollars to film companies that are making billions of dollars."

It should be noted that governments handing out incentives to keep a business (or film company) in a certain locality is a common practice around the world. While the conservative parties around the world prefer to give tax incentives away and just hope the recipients do the right thing, true incentives are supposed to have a carrot approach of "we give you X dollars back if you do Y things." In this case New Zealand promised around a 20% back on the cost of production in return for WB filming the entire trilogy in the country and participating in various ads to promote New Zealand tourism (hence those supplementals in the home video releases).

In this case the size of the grants were the result of months of negotiations when a mini-bidding war for The Hobbit production erupted between New Zealand and England when Warner Bros. signaled it was seriously considering moving production the England to save money via such incentive programs. It took a literal act of New Zealand's congress to get the production to stay. The Lord of the Rings trilogy proved to be a significant boom to the tourist industry of New Zealand so they already had first hand knowledge of how important a new trilogy could be.

From a practical point of view the Green Party's rather idiotic argument seems to be that the New Zealand government should have said no to around $900 million being spent in the country by refusing any incentives including risk increased tourism competition from movie fans who would then have a choice between the England or New Zealand for their Hobbit fix. By any measure the choice between $0 or $900 million at the cost of $200 million seems like a no brainer. Unless your the Green Party which speaks poorly of what would be their fiscal management for the country. (via TOR)

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Massive Lego Erebor

Standing at 7 feet (2.1m) tall, 5.5 foot (1.7m) deep and 6 feet (1.8m) wide is this massive 120,000 Lego brick version of Erebor from The Hobbit trilogy. Created by Lego master builder Michal Kazmierczak, this 286 pound structure isn't just about the gates outside of the mountain but also everything inside including the Throne Room and treasury where Smaug napped. This pic is just a sample so I recommend hitting up the full gallery of images at Michal's flickr page.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition In Theaters Trailer

Below is the trailer to promote The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition that will show in select theaters in October. Its not all three movies in one day but each movie on three days spread over two an eight day period. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey EE will be on Monday October 5, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on Wednesday October 7 and finally The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on Tuesday October 13. For full details hit up Fathom Events.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition Set for November 17 Release

MGM and Warner Bros has finally revealed the cover art and release date for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition home video release as November 17th with an early digital HD release on October 20. It also verified that the additional 20 minutes of footage was enough to cause the film to get an R-rating. Really though if parents were okay with their kids seeing the PG-13 theatrical cut, it is doubtful there is anything anymore violent that should cause concern as the MPAA's rating system is really more of a numbers game than anything. As in literally if see X acts of violence then its PG-13 but X+1 makes it an R. It doesn't mean the additional stuff is "more" violent, it just means that there are more scenes of the same level of violence which for an hour plus long battle sequence shouldn't be a surprise for anyone.

Back to the Blu-ray and DVD release, the real reason (to me) to be interested isn't so much the additional footage but the sadly final parts to The Appendices which are quite simply the greatest movie behind the scenes documentary ever created and really all 12 parts over all six extended edition movies should be a must see for any film student or just really big film fan. In addition a box set of The Hobbit Extended Edition will also be released on the same day. Currently only the regular Blu-ray edition with Digital HD copy is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies Extended Edition Gets R Rating

In a bit of a surprise, the MPAA has given The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition an R rating due to violence. The R rating is related to the extra 30 minutes of footage added to the film, most of which is assumed to be battle sequence related. Also keep in mind that the MPAA has a bizarre way of rating things as (for example using the F-word once is PG-13 but twice is an R or showing breasts with only the nipples covered is PG-13 but showing the nipples is R, things like that) so it could turn out the rating is fair or make absolutely no sense. The Extended Edition is expected to come out sometimes in late October or November.