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article imageWellington, New Zealand renamed 'the Middle of Middle-earth'

By Anne Sewell     Oct 11, 2012 in Entertainment
Wellington - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, was filmed throughout New Zealand. To celebrate the world premiere of the film, Wellington will be changing its name and there will even be Hobbit coins to be spent.
New Zealand has a new campaign - to re-brand the country "100% Middle Earth" to attract tourists. Reportedly the city is planning to spend $900,000 to mark this premiere.
For three weeks before and after the premiere of the movie, Wellington will unofficially be called "The Middle of Middle-earth."
This new, temporary name will even be on postmarks on letters sent over that period, and will appear on the masthead of Wellington's major newspaper.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown told the media, "Thousands of people want to come and be part of the fun." Wade-Brown then noted that the film's director and a now famous resident of Wellington, Peter Jackson, the man also behind King Kong, helped to create a film industry in Wellington that now employs over 3,000 people.
Hobbiton  located in Matamata  New Zealand
Hobbiton, located in Matamata, New Zealand
Video screen capture
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On top of this, New Zealand is planning to release special commemorative coins, depicting characters from the book. Valued between $25 and $3,000, the coins will be issued to coincide with the premiere of Peter Jackson's movie from the book.
The new coins will go on sale on November 1 and there has reportedly already been major interest from fans of the books and movies.
Hobbit coins to be released in New Zealand over the premiere of the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journe...
Hobbit coins to be released in New Zealand over the premiere of the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Video screen capture
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Costs of the coins, which depict Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Wizard, range, with the cheapest selling for $25, and the most expensive, made of pure gold, selling for around $3,000.
The first of the Hobbit trilogy will be premiered in Wellington, or should we say The Middle of Middle-earth, and worldwide on November 28. The film features a famous cast including British actors Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry, and Billy Connolly.
Hobbiton  located in Matamata  New Zealand
Hobbiton, located in Matamata, New Zealand
Video screen capture
image:127892:0::0
Jackson announced earlier this year that he will make three films from "The Hobbit" book, rather than the two originally planned.
The Hobbit series is the brainchild of author J.R.R. Tolkien. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the Lord of the Rings trilogy were all filmed in New Zealand.
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