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'Hobbit' premiere draws thousands in New Zealand

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Ross Setford/AP

(Read caption) Actor Martin Freeman (l.), who plays Bilbo Baggins in the 'Hobbit' films, stands with director Peter Jackson (r.).

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The world premiere of the film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in Wellington, New Zealand drew thousands to the red carpet to catch a glimpse of the stars and the people behind the movie.

An estimated 100,000 fans showed up, including some who sported elf ears and wore the distinctive large and hairy hobbit feet. Some had arrived the night before to make sure they had an area from which to watch the action.

“It’s been a long day, but is it ever worth it,” Cinnamon Tararo, a “Hobbit” lover who came to the premiere with her husband and son and stood for eight hours, told the Wall Street Journal.

Actor Martin Freeman, who stars as timid hobbit Bilbo Baggins, said he was impressed by the fans that attended.

“For a baying mob, they are very well-behaved,” he told New Zealand-based website Stuff.

Before the premiere, Jackson spoke about how determined he was to secure Freeman for the project. Originally, scheduling conflicts arose because Freeman was involved with the BBC series “Sherlock,” on which he plays sidekick John Watson.

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