The Amazing Effect of The Lord of the Rings on New Zealand

         Peter Jackson’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, took the world by storm and changed New Zealand forever. The films, three total, were filmed simultaneously in New Zealand over eighteen months.

         The budget totaled over $320 million, the largest film production of all time, and employed over 22,000 people. Over ninety-five percent of the film was made in New Zealand, which gave the country a direct link into Hollywood and a specific identification of New Zealand as Middle Earth. The country took the film in with open arms, the government supported premiers, advertising, special events, publications, and traveling exhibitions. The films grossed over $2 billion in the box office and won seventeen Academy Awards. All of this attention has allowed New Zealand to expand their tourism business as well as develop their growing film industry with motion capture studios and new sound stages.

         Since then New Zealand has been host to many international productions such as Edward Zwick’s 2003 The Last Samurai, Steven Brill’s 2004 Without a Paddle, Andrew Adamson’s 2005 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong and many more. It is hard to measure the economic impact of The Lord of the Rings on New Zealand, but the global media coverage is unparalleled. According to surveys, the largest reason for tourism in New Zealand is The Lord of the Rings. New Zealand made the right move with The Lord of the Rings; the film gave the country a boost and gave them an industry to invest in, and one that draws a lot of attention.

         The Lord of the Rings has changed the world’s view of New Zealand, and in some instances gave the world a view of New Zealand. The future in New Zealand looks bright and not just in the film industry.

Justin Wylie

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