Taylor says Govt made The Hobbit possible

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:

Weta Workshops founder Sir has hailed Prime Minister John Key at a gala dinner in Beijing, saying movie “was made possible, in no small part” by his government.

The last major showpiece event in a week long trade delegation, Sir Richard used his keynote speech last night to indirectly praise Key’s controversial decision to give Warner Brothers a special subsidy to ensure the filming stayed in New Zealand.

The Hobbit has recently opened in China, with Key saying embassy staff had successfully lobbied to have it as one of the 40 or so foreign films released here annually, but also just after the Chinese New Year, to maximise its return.

Box office takings in China had seen the movie gross more than US$1 billion, Warner Brothers told Key.

The Hobbit is now the 14th highest-grossing film of all time. Three of the top 15 were made in NZ.

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