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Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy is costing producers $561 million so far, according to documents filed in New Zealand, where the films are being made.
The Associated Press is reporting that documents filed today in New Zealand show that the project has cost 676 million New Zealand dollars ($561 million US dollars) through March 31. That number is likely to grow if Jackson needs to call actors back for reshoots and for more post-production work, since he is still completing the final two films in the trilogy.
Of course, so far, the gamble has paid off as fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth continue to rush to see these films. The first Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey, took in over $1 billion worldwide, even though it was not as widely acclaimed as Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films.
The Lord of the Rings films, which won an armful of Oscars, including Best Picture for The Return of the King, cost a combined $281 million to make, by comparison.
In July, Jackson told fans that he had completed principal photography on the films. The second film, The Desolation of Smaug, will be released on Dec. 13, while the final film, There And Back Again, will be out on Dec. 14, 2014.
The trailer for Smaug was released earlier this week.
Warner Bros., which is distributing and co-financing the films, would not comment on the budget.
image: Warner Bros.