In a fake cave in a Wellington suburb, tourists pose by a statue of Gandalf, a hero of the “Lord of the Rings” films that boosted New Zealand’s economy by more than $580 million. The country needs the wizard’s magic more than ever when he returns next month.
The backers of “The Hobbit” movie may move the $500 million production out of New Zealand after an actors’ union dispute undermined confidence in the country’s film industry, according to the movie’s director.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” part one of a 3-D trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, generated $84.6 million in weekend sales at U.S. and Canadian cinemas, propelling studios toward an annual record.