New Zealand wants some Hobbit payback
None of the various controversies that have gathered around The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – worries about animal welfare, lawsuits by the Tolkien estate – has done much to damage the film at the box office.
At time of writing, the long, long epic had taken nearly $900 million throughout the world. Peter Jackson and his team will, however, be unhappy to hear that there are now calls for the studio to return subsidies to the New Zealand government.
Winston Peters, leader of the New Zealand First party, commented: “Now the first movie has grossed more than one billion [New Zealand] dollars, Warner Brothers should repay the €67 million subsidy the movie moguls sucked from Kiwi taxpayers.”
There has also been much chatter surrounding changes in the local labour laws that looked to have been rushed through to accommodate the production.
The studio needn’t fret. Nobody is kicking Peter Jackson out of New Zealand any time soon.