Hollywood movie studio accounts are famously opaque, but in New Zealand Warner Bros. is obliged to file detailed accounts of production spending on Peter Jackson’s films of The Hobbit.
Associated Press reports the latest filings reveal that, as of March this year, total production costs had reached 934 million New Zealand dollars — the equivalent of US $745 million. AP reports it is unclear whether the documents factor in worldwide marketing and distribution costs into this figure.
Cost of making ‘Hobbit’ movies up to $745 million
The movie trilogy “The Hobbit” has so far cost nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars to make as the epic continues to set new benchmarks for studio spending.
Financial documents filed this month in New Zealand, where the three movies are being made, show production costs through March had reached 934 million New Zealand dollars ($745 million).
The figures include filming and digital effects completed over several years but not the final eight months of production costs leading up to the scheduled December release of the final movie. It’s not clear from the documents whether worldwide marketing and distribution costs are included.
Warner Bros., which is making the movies, on Tuesday declined to answer questions about the costs: “We don’t comment on production budgets,” wrote Candice McDonough, a senior vice president at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Entertainment, in an email.
The cost eclipses previous records for film productions. On a per-film basis, however, the movies are not the most expensive ever made. At least not yet.
Box Office Mojo and Guinness World Records estimate that record goes to “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” which cost about $300 million to make.