With additional filming for the second and third films scheduled for next year, The Hobbit (a $639 million project) will feature more details on Bilbo and the dwarves, key battles, and the rise of the Necromancer (Sauron).
Now that fans – who set the Internet abuzz with questions following the announcement of a Hobbit trilogy – have some of their answers, the next question posed is: How will a third Hobbit film affect businesses and the local NZ economy?
According to the Wellington Employers Chamber of Commerce, a third Hobbit movie will be extremely beneficial to the capital’s economy and exposure; the extra filming and post-production will create additional jobs, says policy manager Jeremy Harding.
By splitting The Hobbit into three films, international tourism dividends for Queenstown, Otago, and other filming locations will be spread over more years than initially anticipated.
Graham Budd, chief executive of Destination Queenstown, called the expansion of the two Hobbit films into a trilogy “great news.”
"Tourism New Zealand have a huge programme of activity built around The Hobbit movies and have worked very closely with Warner Bros," he said.
"We're working with them as part of their project to leverage off The Hobbit."
David Gatward-Ferguson, co-owner of Nomad Safaris, noted that like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hobbit trilogy’s December release is normally too late for people to make summer travel plans.
"It's a big trip,” he said, “and it's still seen as a once in a lifetime trip, so you've got to do bit of planning and thought around it.
"My only concern is, and I hope there won't be, Hobbit fatigue,” he added. “The Hobbit is quite a short story in itself and to make it into two movies is something, even with the appendices, and to make it into three great movies, he's got quite a lot of work to do.
"But we're talking about Sir Pete here and, overall, we're really, really pleased for Queenstown."