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October 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The cost of producing The Hobbit trilogy has already risen to twice what it cost to produce The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and there’s still a lot of work to be done before it’s completed, the Associated Press reported over the weekend. Thus far, the three Hobbit films have cost $561 million, according to documents filed with New Zealand’s Companies Office, which, the A.P. observed, “provide a rare insight into the exact costs of a blockbuster Hollywood production. Often studios release only rough estimates, if anything.” But in this case, as the filings indicate, the government of New Zealand has contributed $82 million to the production as part of a tax-incentive program aimed at attracting blockbuster productions to the country, so the film’s budget has become more transparent than the average studio production. The Rings trilogy, which, like The Hobbit, was also overseen by New Zealander Peter Jackson, cost $281 million to make, but it did not set a record. The three Star Wars prequels cost $343 million and the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Dead Man’s Chest, which were both shot simultaneously, cost an estimated $450-525 million to make.