BySarah Gibson, writer at Creators.co
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Sarah Gibson

Bilbo had better put that One Ring up for auction, because he's going to need some serious dollar!

A prominent New Zealand politician has called for the makers of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to repay a $67 million NZD subsidy from the country's taxpayers, following the box office success of the debut installment in 's latest fantasy trilogy.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has so far made an impressive $887 million worldwide and is on course to be one of the biggest movies of the year. According to RT, Winston Peters, a former deputy prime minister, says Warner Bros and MGM should pay back the funds they received to shoot in New Zealand.

Jackson's production team and the Hollywood studios backing his foray into 's Middle-earth received the subsidy as part of a package to keep production in New Zealand after threatening at one point to shoot in central Europe or elsewhere.

Sure, given the unprecedented success of Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has garnered almost 3 billion at box office worldwide, The Hobbit has certainly generated some cash. That said, New Zealand residents likely benefited from hosting the movie in some respects; all the people who worked on the movie will have something pretty impressive to add to their resume, and the movies themselves could urge other filmmakers to take advantage of New Zealand's incredible natural beauty, which would bring more job opportunities.

Do you think The Hobbit's production companies should pay up? As the dwarves and Lakemen learned from bitter experience, no one ever managed to do much about income inequality in Smaug's wasteland simply by talking things over with the dragon. Drop us your thoughts in the comment section below.

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