Ashley Judd, meanwhile, recalled how her involvement progressed far enough to be invited by Jackson to see preparation work for the blockbuster trilogy.
She tweeted: “I remember this well.
“They asked which if the two roles I preferred, and then I abruptly never heard from them again. I appreciate the truth coming out.”
In a statement through a publicist, Harvey Weinstein denied the allegations that he was involved in blacklisting Mira Sorvino and Ashely Judd, saying that the casting for Lord of the Rings was carried out by New Line Cinema – not Miramax.
The statement said that Ashley Judd was cast in two other movies by Harvey Weinstein, and that “Sorvino was always considered for other films as well.”
Harvey Weinstein’s denial prompted Peter Jackson to write a further response, carried by Entertainment Weekly, calling it a “deflection from the truth”.
“In the 18 months we developed the Lord of the Rings at Miramax, we had many casting conversations with Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and their executives,” the director wrote.
“The movies changed hands from Miramax to New Line before casting actually got underway – but because we had been warned off Ashley and Mira by Miramax, and we were naive enough to assume we’d been told the truth, [we] did not raise their names in New Line casting conversations.”
Harvey Weinstein is the central figure of the Hollywood harassment scandal, in which dozens of actresses have accused him of misconduct.
Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd were among the first women to publicly share her experiences of harassment from Harvey Weinstein back in October.
Harvey Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” any allegations of non-consensual acts.
The Hobbit trilogy has reportedly cost $561 million so far, double the amount spent on the three movies in the The Lord of the Rings series.
The figure includes the major 266 days of filming with actors that was completed last year, although it doesn’t include an additional two months or so of “pick-up” shoots done this year. There will likely also be additional post-production costs as the next two movies are completed.
Through March 31, production had cost 676 million New Zealand dollars, or $561 million at current exchange rates, according to financial documents filed Friday in New Zealand, where the movies are being made.
Distributor Warner Bros. and director Peter Jackson may consider it money well spent. To date, only the first movie in the latest trilogy has been released.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey took in just over $1 billion at the box office.
The Hobbit trilogy has cost $561 million so far, double the amount spent on the three movies in the The Lord of the Rings series
The documents, filed online by New Zealand’s Companies Office, provide a rare insight into the exact costs of a blockbuster Hollywood production. Often studios release only rough estimates, if anything.
When making the trilogy, Warner Bros. created a wholly-owned New Zealand company it named 3 Foot 7 Ltd., in reference to the diminutive stature of the movie’s hobbits and dwarves. Company documents show that New Zealand taxpayers have so far contributed NZ$98 million to the trilogy through an incentive scheme designed to attract big budget movies to the country. Such schemes are common among U.S. states and foreign countries that compete for movies.
The trilogy also appears to be one of the most expensive movie productions in which two or more movies are shot at the same time.
Both Box Office Mojo and Guinness World Records estimate the most expensive single movie ever made was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End with an estimated $300 million production tag. That movie, in conjunction with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – which was shot at the same time – held the previous record for the most expensive total production, costing an estimated $450 million to $525 million.
According to Box Office Mojo, Peter Jackson’s previous trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, cost a total $281 million to make. The Star Wars prequel trilogy, meanwhile, cost $343 million, according to Box Office Mojo, which tracks movie costs and box office receipts.
In making The Hobbit, New Zealand director Peter Jackson chose to shoot both in 3D and at 48 frames per second, rather than the standard 24, in the hopes of giving audiences greater picture clarity and a more immersive experience. Both techniques added significant expense. The higher frames per second received mixed reviews, as did the movie itself, which starred Martin Freeman as the title character.
The trilogy is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel of the same name and traces the adventures of hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he attempts to help a group of dwarves regain their wealth and stature from the dragon Smaug. The Hobbit is the precursor to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, which was made into a movie trilogy that was also directed by Peter Jackson.
The second movie in the latest series, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is due out in December 2013 while the final movie, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is due out in December 2014.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has broken two records at the US box office to become the highest grossing Christmas movie of all time.
Peter Jackson’s adaption of JRR Tolkien’s classic novel kicked off with takings of $37.5 million – the biggest December Friday opener in domestic history.
The film then took $28.1 million on Saturday to claim the record of the largest December weekend at the American ticket office, even without Sunday’s takings being calculated. Warner Brothers are predicting the movie could earn over $85 million in the U.S. for the whole weekend.
As reported by Deadline.com, the movie version of the 1937 book is playing in 4,045 North American theaters, also a record number for December.
Friday’s huge opening haul included $13 million from midnight showings on Thursday night, which included $1.6 million on IMAX screens.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was digitally remastered for IMAX 3D and filmed using new technology.
The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey has broken two records at the US box office to become the highest grossing Christmas movie of all time
A select number of theaters are presenting the picture at double the standard frame rate, showing the movie at 48 frames per second rather than the standard 24 frames per second.
This technology claims to show the film in a way that is closer to how the human eye actually sees images.
Despite mixed reviews from critics, the movie is also doing incredibly well internationally.
An Unexpected Journey is also the number one film overseas and already taken $57 million from 56 international markets (in 18,200 screens).
Deadline.com reports that the film may end the weekend with takings of around $200 million worldwide.
Hobbit mania has erupted in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, for the world premiere of Peter Jackson’s new trilogy, The Hobbit.
The first of the three movies – prequels to the Lord of the Rings trilogy – was shown at Wellington’s Embassy Theatre on Wednesday evening.
Stars flew in for the event, which saw Wellington rebranded as “the Middle of Middle Earth”.
Tens of thousands of fans – some in costume – gathered around the theatre for the screening.
Some camped overnight to secure spots close to the 500m-long red carpet that led to the theatre, which was decorated to look like the entrance to a Hobbit house.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first film of the trilogy, which altogether cost $500 million to make and was filmed in New Zealand. The second film is set for release in December 2013 and the third in July 2014.
Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson said it was “emotional and very humbling” to see such a crowd.
Ahead of the screening, the New Zealander said he was nervous about the film’s reception.
“Nothing’s ever perfect and it never will be; it’s a real mistake if you say we’re stopping now because we’ve made the perfect film,” he told Radio New Zealand.
“You never have and you never will.”
The world premiere of Peter Jackson’s new trilogy, The Hobbit, will take place at Wellington’s Embassy Theatre on Wednesday evening
Wellington City Council put months of planning and just over NZ$1 million ($820,000) into preparations for the premiere, Radio New Zealand reported, as did tourism officials looking to boost visitor numbers.
Tony Everitt, Asia manager for Tourism New Zealand, said he expected tourism revenue to rise by as much as US$400 million annually because of the films.
The trilogy has taken more than five years to film and hit a number of obstacles. Filming was delayed for months over funding problems and a row over actors’ wages – at one point studio executives suggested moving filming to Britain.
Earlier this week, Peter Jackson also rejected claims from animal rights group PETA that up to 27 animals had died during filming, saying no animals were harmed.
In Wellington, however, crowds turned out for a party. Up to 100,000 people were said to have gathered for the premiere.
Filmmaker Peter Jackson says he is unsurprised by the mixed reaction to footage from his long-anticipated film The Hobbit presented at the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas earlier this week.
“It wasn’t particularly surprising because it is something new,” Peter Jackson told the Hollywood Reporter.
He added: “Ultimately, it is different in a positive way, especially for 3D, especially for epic films.”
The 3D film has been shot at a rate of 48 frames per second, compared with the industry standard of 24 frames.
Peter Jackson says he is unsurprised by the mixed reaction to footage from his long-anticipated film The Hobbit presented at the CinemaCon
The 10 minutes of unfinished footage was criticized as uncinematic – with some detractors claiming it “looked like a made-for-TV movie”.
“It does take you a while to get used to,” admitted Peter Jackson.
“Ten minutes is sort of marginal, it probably needed a little bit more.
“Another thing that I think is a factor is it’s different to look at a bunch of clips – and some were fast-cutting, montage-style clips. This is a different experience than watching a character and story unfold.”
Peter Jackson told the Hollywood Reporter that he had no plans to shoot a trailer for the film using the same 48-frame-per-second technique.
“The 48 frames is something you should experience with the entire film. A two-and-a-half minute trailer isn’t enough time to adjust to the immersive quality.”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first chapter in Peter Jackson’s two-part adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy classic.
The two films were shot back-to-back in 3D, with the second part, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, due in cinemas in December 2013.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson believes the new filming format will take time for viewers to adjust to.
But added: “As another creative tool, I think it’s is a really important thing.
“Advocating that we have to stick with what we know, I think is a slightly narrow-minded way of looking at things when as an industry we are facing declining audiences.
“We have to find ways to make it more vibrant, more immersive – something that will encourage people to come back to the theatres for that experience.”
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