Warner Brothers has threatened to move its next epic out of New Zealand following a strike by the local actors’ union.
Losing The Hobbit would cost the Kiwi economy up to $1.5 billion, according to estimates by AZN-National. This estimate includes $500 million direct investment and $1 billion in related fees to sub-contractors and suppliers.
The tourism windfall is also worth a boatload. So is continuing contracts for local special effects studios, which worked on major Hollywood features like Avatar.
Where could it move? At a protest yesterday people carried signs saying: “Ireland is not Middle-Earth!”
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