The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in December, and of course marketing is building to a crescendo, given the size of the production investment, the importance of the Hobbit brand franchise, and the competition among holiday-time movies. The Hobbit Facebook page has 3.4 million likes, and counting, as the social media marketing machine heats up.
Filmed in New Zealand, like the Lord of the Rings movies, this second in the Hobbit series is renewing interest in New Zealand as a travel destination. All the major players gathered in Wellington for a fan event, one of many marketing activities leading up to the movie debut. Air New Zealand is prepping a jet to look like something out of Middle-Earth and building branded videos and contests around the movie's world premiere.
Other friends of Middle-Earth are also riding on the movie's coat-tails. One example: LEGO is launching a new game based on the Hobbit movie trilogy in 2014.