In a financial report filed in yesterday at New Zealand’s Companies Office (NZCO), figures for spending on Peter Jackson’s on-going trilogy for ‘The Hobbit’ were revealed.
The cost so far; which is over half a billion dollars at this point and expected to increase once the remaining movies enter post-production, is roughly twice the amount that was spent on the production of the three “The Lord of the Rings” movies.
Dated March 31st, the financial documents confirm production costs to be at 676 million in New Zealand’s currency, which converts to approximately 561 million in US dollars. Though this cost is inclusive of most major expenses; such as shoots with the primary cast, the figures are expected to rise as production on both movies still hasn’t finished, with post-production expenditure likely to increase the expenditure quite a bit.
The budget, however, does not seem to be a concern for either party – with only one movie of the announced trilogy released yet, Peter Jackson and Warner Brothers have more than recouped the costs as “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” grossed over a billion at the box office.
To further aid with production costs, distributor Warner Bros. established a new firm in New Zealand called “3 Foot 7 Ltd.”; a reference to Tolkien’s fictional race of hobbits, in order to take advantage of New Zealand’s funding schemes for the production of big budget movies and has amassed 98 million in New Zealand dollars as contribution from local taxpayers so far.
With $561 million already spent, ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy is on-track to break the world record for being the most expensive movies shot simultaneously. ‘The Desolation of Smaug’, the second title in ‘The Hobbit’ series is scheduled for a December release this year, with the final movie in the trilogy; ‘There and Back Again’ also slated for December, but of the following year.