Hobbit Talks May Change New Zealand Forever

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The fight to keep The Hobbit in New Zealand may be getting more intense, but there’s a limit to how far it’ll go, according to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. Key spoke to reporters before today’s meeting between the government and Warner Bros. executives and told them “I’ve made it quite clear (to Warner Bros.) if it comes to a bidding war, then New Zealand is out because I don’t think that’s the right way to run this.” Part of the reason he isn’t interested in the idea of a bidding war may be that the government isn’t exactly making money on the current terms: “In reality, we don’t make a lot of money out of this movie, with a 15% subsidy. It’s a wash from the government point of view. What we are earning, we are basically giving back to them,” Key explained.

After the meeting, Key said that talks were ongoing, and that a sticking point was the possibility of more labor disruption by actors’ unions – Something that may lead to a change in New Zealand’s labor laws. Good to know that the limit to how far New Zealand will go to keep the movies extends to changing national laws, at least…

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