After being long-awaited by thousands of fans in New Zealand, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" finally threw its world premiere in the country on Wednesday, November 28. Held by big exhibitors in Wellington, the special screening event took place at the Embassy Theater, the same venue where "The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring" was premiered nine years ago. A 1,600-foot red carpet rolled out on the streets to welcome the film's starry cast members to the special occasion.
Stealing the show at the event were Evangeline Lilly and Cate Blanchett. The two leading ladies stepped out in contrast choice of outfits for the special screening. Lilly opted to glam up in a champagne-colored sequined dress that bared her legs. She paired the sexy number with nude-colored platform heels. Blanchett, on the other hand, kept it simple in a long black skirt that she paired with a white top and a pink bolero.
Director Peter Jackson was all smiles as he hit the red carpet and greeted J.R.R. Tolkien's devoted fans who were lucky to watch the entire final cut of "The Hobbit" for the very first time ever. Jackson went casual in a blazer and white shirt that he paired with sporty sneakers. He was accompanied by his daughter Katie, who looked pretty in a glossy mini dress and black pumps.
Andy Serkis looked dapper in a traditional black suit, joined by his beautiful wife Lorraine who looked classy in a nude-colored satin dress. Lead actor Martin Freeman and his on-screen nephew Elijah Wood were also spotted on the red carpet, rocking round-framed sunglasses to team their sleek suits.
Wood said that he was excited to return to Embassy Theater that day. On the red carpet, he also sang praises to Freeman's performance as Bilbo Baggins as telling The Hollywood Reporter, "He was brilliant - the right amount of funny. He has strange qualities, but also real heart. He is the heart of the movie, and he really pulled it off."
Richard Armitage, who plays Thorin Oakenshield, also took a minute to dished on working with Jackson, "The thing that inspires me is that he's as fascinated with technology and where film can go as he is with story and character. Something incredible has been created that's never been seen before."
Despite what some critics said about the 48FPS used in "The Hobbit" during the CinemaCon earlier this year, the New Zealand special screening proved that the movie was as stunning as Jackson had promised. The movie garnered a stream of rave reviews from the audience who were mesmerized by the visualizations presented in the high-end technology.
Director Bryan Singer wrote, "Just saw #Hobbit. Having some serious frame rate envy. Amazing and involving. Loved it! And @ianmckellen118, my friend, you are brilliant!" New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, said, "New Zealand took a risk investing in The Hobbit and it's paid off." He praised Jackson as a "genius."
"The Hobbit" will grace cinemas across the U.S. on December 14.